I welcome the changes in title post, but I still see that tech tree is affected by only spending points. Can FE be more innovative than that? I sincerely hope so. I have some good brainstorming 2 years ago in this forum, I still want it this day. Derek, hope that you hear me.
Source: 5 Unique playstyles by making each individual tech tree individually viable
Can I play a game that I put every single research point just into 1 of the tech trees, and still be extremely competitive to other players? What if individually, each of the trees is almost completely balanced and competitive, yet the play feel completely different? What will my kingdom look like if I do that?
The main issue with proposed tech tree is that the tech tree looks bland. And most likely your kingdom will looks like mine, with just minor differences... Need drastic change!
Source: Tech research: Situational, Unlimited and Random tech
(Updated & excerpt)
I suggest major change to the concept of tech tree
Core tech is available to almost everyone, and is researchable via the mundane(& boring) acquisition of research points. But the acquisition on all other (comparatively more powerful) non-core tech is sometimes linked to player’s Acheievement, which representing competitive edge and the strategic decision/effort of the gamer. Gamer needs to think/plan to get achievement
Non-core tech does not further branch out to other core techs. They are dead-end techs, this kind of avoid the issue of upgrading Exposive Archery lvl1 to Exposive Archery lvl99 by spending more research more research point on it. However, even they are called dead-end, they can upgrade to level 99 if you use ii enough times (or use it to acheive something, e.g. kill 99 enemy using the Exposive Archery skill). The progress of these none-core tech is Achievement based.
Core tech can also be Acheivement based, but they can only have top level of 10, for example. For Core tech, most of these Achievement based bonus (or level) is Ranked. Amongst all 5 players you are the player that owned most number of Archers, you ranked #1 then you have Archery lvl 10 for all units that get this skill. Instead if you Ranked #3 in terms of number of archers, you got Archery lvl6
Simplify the tech tree, don't need 200 tech with 90 branches. Yet, make the tech tree a game/competition; instead of 'hey I got moe research point, where should I spend to get a new toy?'
Pre-game Option: Tech picks vs Magic book picks
In MOM, you allocate spell books to make certain colour of magic stronger or weaker when you design your race. Now in FE pre-game screen, you have say 20 books and you’ll need to allocate the book picks amongst Spell research AND Tech research. If you put a lot of books in to Population related tech, you will be certainly weaker/slower in other aspect of spell and tech research.
There should be an option to randomize, or choose a default set of book pick.
In some games, you may have powerful technology; in some other games you may have more powerful spells. Tech & Spell research will then become one of the variables on how you customize your game.