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Oimat

Technologies discussion

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Hi everyone,

I'm coming to this burning issue, which has been discussed so many times.

In a few time you'll be able to see alpha 16, and if you haven't played on svn, you will find a HUGE improvement on techs. I would say by eye that the number of techs were doubled from a15 to a16. And that is good, I love all the news stuff.

Now, here are 5 numbers : 33 minutes of game, 20k of food, 20k of wood, 10k of stone and 10k of metal.

That's the average of an expansionist player. And of course, all techs researched. Only the paired one didn't allow me to have really all of them.

So there is, I think, a problem. Someone shouldn't be able to have all techs so fast in the game (30 minutes), at least in my opinion. Why that ? Because you can't really specialize in one way of playing. You have the eco guy, the rush guy, the defensive one... (eco != defensive, be carefull !)

And everyone should be able to get only one fully direction of techs.

Let's say that you have 10 military (m), 10 eco (e), 10 defensive (d), 10 find-a-something (f) different techs, and that currently in alpha16, beeing able to research everything takes you 10k of ressources. That's no far from reality, and remember I gather 60k in 33minutes, so that's 17% of my ressources to e able to upgrade everything.

My proposition is the following one : go from 17% of all ressources to 100%. What does that mean ? That instead of being able of researching while expanding and fighting, you make a choice between both.

For that, 90% of the techs should be as expensive or more than the phase technologies.

From the other hand, the effects would be way more powerfull.

Want some examples ?

Currently : 100wood, +25% in farming rate

Epicness : 500wood + 300 food, +50 % farming rate

Currently : 100stone, +1 pop per house

Epicness : 400wood, 300 stone ,+10 pop per house

Currently : 300stone, +2 pop per house

Epicness : 1000 wood, 1000 stone, +15% max pop

Currently : 100wood, 100 metal, +2 hack attack on skirmishers

Epicness : 400 wood, 500 metal, +8 hack attack on skirmishers

Currently : 200 wood (I don't remember), +25% of speed for merchants

Epicness : 600 foos, 500 wood, +60% of income for merchants

Of course, this way it wouldn't be possible to have all technologies. That's a way to introduce some strategy, to know if in this situation you are allowed to spend your ressources on economic researches of you should do more soldiers, meanwhile military techs would give you a huge advantage.

There's a need too to have cheap techs as currently, but not so much.

Thank you for reading all of this @#$%,

And have a A1A day !

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I'm waiting for the more faction specific techs. Also someone messed up the "Spolas" and "Linothorax" techs: The Spolas was an extremly thick Leather Armor while the Linothorax was quilted linen (also probably extremly thick).

And 'Spolas' is singular, 'Spolates' is plural.

Also the Icons for the Aspides techs are wrong: an Aspis didn't have a boss or a rim like that.

Still, I'm looking forward to faction specific techs.

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I agree with you Oimat. The necessity to allow many differents strategies to be wining should be a main objective of the next releases.

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Flavius : having faction techs doesn't mean what I'm saying is irrelevant. You can have as much faction techs as you want, what I am saying is that is they are so cheap as currently, there is no real choice to do.

There is an example that would cause a enormous difference between two games :

- you are under an early rush, so you want to defend, so you do defensive techs. So you can't do eco techs and booming, for long time from now you will have to be defensive

- the ennemy doesn't do any pressure on you, so you have time to boom economically, so you will prefer economics techs. The problem is that if you are under attack just after that, you won't be able to defend well yourself

- you want to be faster than your ennemy → military tech → poor eco, you HAVE to succeed, that's a gamble.

Lion : oh yeah *_* There's a part of responsibility in the maps that aren't designed for that purpose. Some maps where ther is place between the CC and the border of the map, which allows you to back cc the other.

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Good points Oimat. I am not sure if making them more expensive is necessary the right approach, but it definitely adds an interesting amount of strategy the game is currently lacking. Another thing for technologies that could be exploited is to make technologies that have more game changing implications. These could be called policies for our purposes. For instance, Sparta could boost relations with Persia, allowing it to have a stronger navy, or it could focus on the its confederates, granting stronger cavalry, or perhaps even with Athens, providing significant economic bonuses in commerce.

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It would almost be like getting a Titan in AoM. +8 hack attack? That's huge! Those techs should be expensive so that they are harder to obtain. I imagine they should only be used in a scenario where the game has dragged on long enough, and the victory goes to the one with the best economy.

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It would almost be like getting a Titan in AoM. +8 hack attack? That's huge! Those techs should be expensive so that they are harder to obtain.

That's exactly my point.

Being able to choose only TWO very powerfull techs in 15 instead of having 30 not-so-much-impactant techs.

So doing this kind of stuff, you really will change your way of doing with the opponent, since you don't know which tech you should use for now, knowing that in this case, you won't be able to have the one you truly would like to have.

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You bring up an interesting point with this post and there are some things I agree with and others that I don't.

First off:

That instead of being able of researching while expanding and fighting, you make a choice between both.

This choice is a choice that has to be made for nearly every RTS. There's no way you're going to mathematically be able to rush someone while expanding and teching. If you're able to, it means your rush is way less powerful than it could be. If you're rushing, you should be investing every resource at your disposal early game to do damage to your opponent, you don't have any resources or time left over for teching behind it. Arguably though, rushing sucks in this game, you won't be able to outright kill anyone in the first 10 minutes of the game imo, given the strength of the civ center (though I could be wrong on this one). I see early harass builds being quite effective though.

And everyone should be able to get only one fully direction of techs

This is something I don't agree with. If someone has gone down the "eco" tech route for example, they're going to have a massive advantage when their economic boost kicks in. If someone else went for a "military upgrade" tech route early game, they need to be able to go down the "eco" tech route themselves at a later stage of the game, or else the eco player just outright wins. You have to make sure that any player can research any tech of the game at any point in time. However, as you say, if this means that it's possible to get every upgrade in the game by 30 minutes, then you have a problem, since indeed, stylistic play (aggressive/tech/boom) becomes limited.

The obvious solution, and the best one imo, is that full tech-trees should be available through-out the entire game, so if you have the time and resources, you're able to research every tech. However, teching should be considerably more expensive than it is right now.

There is an example that would cause a enormous difference between two games :

- you are under an early rush, so you want to defend, so you do defensive techs. So you can't do eco techs and booming, for long time from now you will have to be defensive

- the ennemy doesn't do any pressure on you, so you have time to boom economically, so you will prefer economics techs. The problem is that if you are under attack just after that, you won't be able to defend well yourself

- you want to be faster than your ennemy → military tech → poor eco, you HAVE to succeed, that's a gamble.

Indeed, don't you see the problem there? In the third situation for example, you're making rushes all-in. If you don't succeed your rush, you have no follow-up and you basically lose. This would be akin to an all-in in SC2 which is somewhat uninteresting to play. Shouldn't someone be able to rush out some military units and try to get something done with them early on? The defending player has to defend well or he'll lose too much and get behind, the rushing player has to harass well to get an advantage to justify the cost of getting out units early (instead of eco techs). However instead of staking the entire game on an early attack, he can take a risk to attempt to get an advantage over his opponent right off the bat.

See what I mean?

Edited by iNcog
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Not really :\ A rush is always a gamble.

For your second point, you're right. What I meant is more something like "it won't be interesting for you to start a new tech-branch before finishing the one you started, and so you will have to wait 30 minutes or more before starting military techs if you choose eco ones"

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Not really :\ A rush is always a gamble.

For your second point, you're right. What I meant is more something like "it won't be interesting for you to start a new tech-branch before finishing the one you started, and so you will have to wait 30 minutes or more before starting military techs if you choose eco ones"

A rush is indeed always a gamble. How should I put this?

There are two kinds of rushes, imo. You have the rushes where you cut workers, don't research a single tech and every last drop of your resources is spent in military units and housing. That gets you the highest possible amount of units in the shortest amount of time as possible. This rush would be an all-in rush since if you don't do game-ending damage with this rush, you're essentially REALLY behind, to the point where your opponent has the game won, due to his higher amount of harvesters and upgrades. He survived thanks to defender's advantage.

The other kind of rush is more of a pressure rush that does so damage, but if it doesn't that's OK, you're only slightly behind, because during your rush you continued to produce villagers, researched eco techs, etc.. This would be the kind of rush that punishes greedy play, or punishes a player who isn't comfortable in fights where he doesn't have a decisively better army.

I completely agree that being able to research every single tech in the game shouldn't be doable in 30 minutes. However it should still be possible to transition from an aggressive play-style to a boom if need be. The players have to retain the ability to switch between being aggressive and booming, that's what allows for comebacks and/or exciting games.

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Indeed.

That's why, even if I haven't said it but I thought of it so hard that I'm sure you read that, the firsts techs of a tree are cheaper than the ultims ones.

So you can indeed have the firsts techs of another branch, but not the more powerfull ones.

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Hey, I want to bump this topic to discuss the pairing of technology.

I want to start a discussion about which technologies I feel are good in terms of being paired up (e.g. you have to choose one or the other) and which aren't. In my opinion, some technologies are interesting to pair up. Levy cav vs Levy Infantry of instance is a technology that I think isn't a bad thing to pair. You can choose whether to want to go for a Cav rush or infantry rush (not even rush, just raiding / pressure) and early game the levy tech helps. However players still have the option to make the other unit type later in the game, when they're done with their early game harass.

Technologies that aren't interesting to pair up imo, are for example stone vs metal, or wood vs wheelbarrow. Rather than force a player to choose one or the other, it would be probably more interesting to make these technologies expensive. This way, if you want to get it early, it's a hefty investment and you can't get the other until after a while. However, later in the game, you still have the option. It would also be more interesting to tier these upgrades as well. You could get a cheap upgrade that gives you +10% for first level, then +20% as a more expensive tech, etc.

I feel that technologies that trade one stat for another (health vs training time for example) are better to put in pairs than technologies that give a straight up boost.

What are people's thoughts on this matter?

Edited by iNcog

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I like the Stone vs. Metal pairing because it's a soft choice between Defenses and Units. Defenses use stone, while strong units use Metal. So what you are actually doing with this tech pair is making a soft strategic choice between the two.

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I'm not sure we need to make technologies a lot stronger, but I'd be interested in more branching stuffs, that would force more specialization.

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A random idea I came up with reading the last page or so is to make techs significantly (but not cripplingly) more expensive if researched in eras later than when they're first available. This means you can go back and start a new tech branch that you ignored before, but it'll cost more than if you'd focused on it originally.

You could postpone your era advancement, but that restricts your access to newer techs on already-explored branches, so you can go through the tech tree breadth-first or depth-first (or in-between), the former being much cheaper overall but giving later access to advanced tech.

Might be a nightmare to balance properly though; postponing advanced tech access would need a lot of offsetting, which might just ruin the game. :boredom:

Edited by FLHerne

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I'm not sure we need to make technologies a lot stronger, but I'd be interested in more branching stuffs, that would force more specialization.

I don't really see the point of specialization other than forcing a player down a tech route and preventing him from making the transition to something more suited to a situation.

eg if I'm brits and I want to mass slingers early on, I get the stone upgrade. this upgrade becomes "useless" later on when I wanna get metal units. you're not really forcing specialization by forcing players to choose between stone and metal, you're just forcing people not to get the overall inferior upgrade. for example, there's NO reason to get wood chopping since wheelbarrow is a bonus to every resource. that's not specialization, you're just making techs useless.

you get more strategic diversity with powerful upgrades that can all be researched. basically, it's impossible to research everything early on so strategies will revolve around a few choice techs. however, as the game progresses, players can get access to what they skipped early on due to their strategy.

not having paired techs and also making techs more powerful and expensive at the same time also means that players are open to a new way of playing: upgrade heavy. a player who wants to boom will try to get as many economic upgrades as he can asap, while relying on minimal defense with units. he can do that to the detriment of his ability to pressure his opponent for example. his opponent, on the other hand, can choose to skip getting expensive upgrades early on and focus on getting out lots of units to pressure a booming player. as he does damage, he gets an advantage and can use that advantage to "get more ahead" by getting the expensive upgrades himself for example. the more techs you have, and the stronger they are, the more you're open to possible strategies. that is true strategic depth and it's something that should be developed in an RTS, particularly 0 AD which has a complex economy, which means you're looking at a strategic abyss. that's a GOOD thing.

it's kind of like aoe3, where you would choose the shipments to send. what shipments you would send would define your strategy. e.g. early resources for a quick economic boost that is relevant only early game. or you can get quick hunting if you're using a civ that is food reliant. or, you can choose to upgrade your units if you're looking for prolonged age 2 warfare. shipments in aoe3 added a huge amount of strategic depth to the game, to the point where it defined strategy in aoe3.

With good techs, interesting techs which are expensive (eg a big investment) yet powerful (they're quite relevant when they're researched) would open up a lot of viable play-styles. booming, rushing, teching, containing and so on. for example one possible strat we currently have is researching citizen infantry really fast. you then get better units than your opponent, however your upgrade takes a hit. you have to use that window of time where your units are stronger but your eco is weaker to deal a lot of damage to your opponent. there's an example of tech that defines strategy. it's really good! it's interesting! it's one of the reasons 0 AD's core design is so good!

tl;dr, I don't agree with you at all

Edit: I mean here, let's come back to my brits example. imagine I want to slinger rush

eg if I'm brits and I want to mass slingers early on, I get the stone upgrade. this upgrade becomes "useless" later on when I wanna get metal units. you're not really forcing specialization by forcing players to choose between stone and metal, you're just forcing people not to get the overall inferior upgrade. for example, there's NO reason to get wood chopping since wheelbarrow is a bonus to every resource. that's not specialization, you're just making techs useless.

Well, a stone upgrade would be a boost to my rush. however since overall, the stone upgrade isn't as good as getting the metal upgrade, I'm not going to bother with my slinger rush. i'll just do something else. you see? there's a potential strategy right there (slingers are unique in that they're 100% anti-infantry, so you can't compare a slinger rush to a skirm rush for example), but it has to be laid aside because later in the game, when i've transitioned out of the rush, I won't get the metal upgrade. Because I chose to do my slinger rush, i've actually penalized myself. some people might look at that and say "look, you see, there's an important choice to make there". but that's not true. what's really happening is that "look, he can't slinger rush at all, he's an idiot for doing so because he's going to penalize his economy in the long run". instead of having lots of strategies to choose from, you end up with good strategies and bad strategies. bad in a sense that it just isn't as good.

that's why i'm pretty much against the pairing of technology, at least in terms of economic upgrades. eco upgrades are straight up bonuses, so they shouldn't be paired.

however, upgrades which trade stats (like health vs training time) are techs that can be paired. you won't really penalize yourself if you choose levy infantry over levy cav because if either way, your units are either stronger or they train faster. one choice isn't inherently better than the other, so this means that you can pair up these techs.

blacksmith upgrades are like eco upgrades. if you make blacksmith upgrades stronger, yet more expensive, and you also get the ability to get them all, then you can probably base mid-game strategies around trying to get an advantage with units that have lots of blacksmith upgrades on them. you'd have to invest heavily into getting these strong, upgraded units though. if you pair up blacksmith techs, then you can only get a half-assed version of this strategy.

see where i'm getting at?

Edited by iNcog
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The point of a rush is to win quickly. If you've gone for a rush and it stalls, I think you deserve to get penalized for it.

But when we talk about econ upgrades, we allow for the player to "change his mind" so to speak in the example of stone vs. metal because there are (intentionally) multiple layers of these techs to choose from. So, if you go for the stone upgrade in Village but your slinger rush fails, then you can get the two subsequent metal upgrades in Town and City to compensate and transition to your new strategy.

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There's "rush" and "all-in". If you rush him and you only succeed at doing enough damage that the game is equalized with neither player ahead (quite likely if a player is a strong defensive macro player), then the "rush" player shouldn't be penalized because he doesn't have access to good techs later on. A good player doesn't rush to win, he will rush to get an advantage off guard, or to penalize a player who is focusing too much on economy in the early game.

It doesn't even matter if it's rush or not. Limiting the techs you can get through pairing means that you will only see players use strategies that rely on the stronger tech. Players will never choose the weaker tech (for instance wood gathering in A16) because there's simply no reason to. Pairing techs like this only limits the amount of strategic diversity in the game. It doesn't add anything except for forcing players not to use the weaker tech. Which is basically taking away from the game.

This problem is somewhat alleviated as you mentioned, through the use of tiers. The question I'm asking is why tier at all?

Just unlock all techs which give straight up bonuses (Blacksmith and Storehouse techs) and use pairing techs to make each Civ unique. You could for example, give the Hellenic states the ability to choose between Hoplites with higher attack in exchange for training time (just Hoplites, to make things interesting) OR better armor in exchange for attack. Celts, for example, could choose between giving their berserkers more attack in exchange for less armor OR having all their cav move slightly faster in exchange for HP. There are lots of stats to play with. You could exchange fire rate for longer training, things like that. There's also building time in exchange for building HP. If you give different pairing techs to different civs, you not only get unique civs but you also get unique play-styles. A Celtic player who wants to raid a lot will prefer to get the cavalry speed. A Celtic player who wants to fight straight will get berserkers upgrade. That sort of thing.

Edited by iNcog
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I agree with iNcog that there are some tech pairs that are unbalanced like the wood gather speed vs. the wheelbarrow. No one will ever choose the wood tech.

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No one will ever choose the wood tech.

Why wouldn't I use that one? Gathering faster is more important (IMO) if you watch your gatherers and don't let them move across huge distances. (Or I am no one ;) )

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