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Tidy Tech Tree for Vox Populi 1.6

Makes (almost) every item unlocked by any Technology visible at a glance.

  1. Edaka
    Preface

    This is an endeavor to make all items unlocked by technologies visible at a glance. As you might know, it's impossible at the moment because the tech tree interface only supports up to 5 items per tech, requiring the player to hover over them to see more. Due to this limitation many tech unlocks in VP are hidden. In an attempt to work around that, I've mainly redistributed some unlocks between some of the less busy techs and even decoupled some from techs completely, so that it's entirely possible to unlock some wonders and units just with policies. Yikes! More on that below.

    First of all: this is intended to be as close as possible to a light quality of life modmod with minimal impact on balance. I had a clear goal of being as conservative as possible. So I've tried to go by these principles, from the most important to the least:
    1) no more than 5 unlocks per tech - this is the main goal of the modmod, so even the big and the daring changes were made because there was no other better way.
    2) balance as close as possible to Vox Populi - when I had to move stuff around, I tried to either move the least impactful stuff (e.g., specialist yield buffs are less impactful than wonders) and as close to the original tech as possible.
    3) theme and real-world accuracy.

    Spoiler Why I felt like this mod was needed :

    The math

    Word of notice before I start counting: this mod is geared towards playing with research agreements and map trading on, tech trading off.
    If my math is correct, as of version 7/15 of Vox Populi, there are about 26 overloaded techs with a total of about 45 hidden items.
    Spoiler :
    writing(1), sailing(2), currency(1), education(1), civil service(3), guilds(2), compass(1), machinery(6), gunpowder(2), economics(1), metallurgy(1), railroad(1), steam power(2), archeology(1), fertilizer(1), industrialization(1), dynamite(1), military science (3), biology (2), corporations(3), combustion(4), plastics(1), ballistics(1), combined arms(1), computers(1), telecommunications (1).

    As you can see, most have just 1 unlock too many, but some are severely overloaded, like Machinery and Combustion. That's a lot of hidden information (unless you hover all the time or memorize it)!

    This modmod reduces this amount to 3 techs and 10 hidden items:
    Spoiler :
    machinery(2), biology(2) and corporations(6).

    To justify that:
    • Machinery and Biology both have the newly added forest, jungle and marsh removal timer reductions. So, since they're all packed together, they're all one thing, but show up as three items. One of them shows up on these techs, and the other two get hidden. Not a biggie, IMO.
    • Corporations. All 6 of the individual corporations are now hidden, but you never could see all of them at once anyway. Now it looks cleaner, and you can still access the individual ones from the corporation screen.


    Spoiler The new tech tree :

    (research agreements on, tech trading off, map trading on, China on :))
    View attachment 503436 View attachment 502786 View attachment 502787 View attachment 502788 View attachment 502789 View attachment 502790
    Note that all you see here is almost all that there is.


    Spoiler Changes :
    I've divided all changes into four separate files (big, medium, small changes and RRR compatibility), so that it is possible to delete types of changes you don't want. Also, at the end of the day, the gradation is subjective and I'm biased, so correct me if you must :).

    Big impact:

    • Education, Civil Service, Steel, Archaeology, Industrialization, Combined Arms, Computers cleanup.
      Also freed up space at Chivalry, Architecture, Astronomy, Radio that will be useful later.
      All policy-tied wonders (Alhambra, University of Sankore, Forbidden Palace, etc.), buildings (observatory) and units (Landsknecht) require just their policies/finishers, no tech needed.
    Additional notes:
    • Ideology wonders are unchanged,
    • Costs: same-era policy wonders cost the same now. Ancient era wonders adjusted to the first column of the medieval era (e.g. Alhambra), medieval - first column of industrial (Neuschweinstein), industrial - first column of atomic (Pentagon). Landsknechts cost the same as before.
    • Foreign Legion and Mercenaries are moved away from Authority and are unlocked by Volunteer Army (Freedom), the tenet that gives 6 free Foreign Legions. These units are still locked behind techs, though.
      The wonders will probably get built earlier but before. Same goes for Landsknechts, but since their costs are unchanged and Foreign Legions and Mercenaries are moved away, that ought to kinda compensate for the accidental buff to Authority. Besides, I personally never liked that an ancient policy tree unlocked units several eras later.
      Overall, this is the biggest change to gameplay, but also a fun one to experiment with, so...?
    Probably minor changes, but they don't free any space without the changes above.
    • Guilds cleanup. Camp boost moved to Chivalry (replaces Alhambra).
    • Machinery cleanup. Faster road movement moved to Steel (replaces Landsknecht).
    • Compass cleanup. Moved longer naval trade routes to Astronomy (replaces Observatory).
    • Plastics cleanup. Palace of Culture and Science moved to Radio (replaces Broadway).
    Medium impact:
    • Sailing and Trade cleanup. Moved Scout to Trade. Removed Caravan from Trade and a Trade Route from Sailing. Added a Trade Route to Pottery. Caravan is now available at game start.
      (See screenshots below for a clearer picture)
      Note: the production costs of all the units remain the same.
      In essence, this was done to clean up Sailing, and boy was it a tough one. I couldn't convince myself to remove neither the tree ships (trireme, dromon, cargo) nor the two lighthouses (the Great and the not great). So, Scout and a Trade Route slot were the outliers. To justify the theme: Scout can now be very useful to protect 2 Caravans possible at Trade, and you still can't build them until you at least research Pottery.
    • Chemistry cleanup. Science from forts added to base yields.
    • Military Science cleanup. Production from forts added to base yields.
      So, forts have 1 science and 1 production as a base now. I don't think this will be enough to make it compete with any other improvement in terms of raw yields, so we should be fine here.
    Probably minor changes, but they don't free any space without the changes above.
    • Machinery cleanup. Longer land trade routes moved to Chemistry (replaces the fort buff).
    Minimal impact:
    • Guilds, Economics, Fertilizer cleanup. Removed info about Colonias for non-Venice players.
      Unfortunately, this makes the Colonia appear on the civ selection screen, so it boils down to whether you prefer seeing it every time you start a new game or having three techs in-game cluttered with mostly irrelevant info. Looks like this:
      Spoiler :

    • Writing cleanup. Removed paper from showing up on the tech tree.
      Is redundant anyway, as paper comes with the Scrivener's Office.
    • Currency cleanup. Moved Wealth (process) to Bronze Working.
      It would be more intuitive to move this to Trade, but this accomplishes two things: first, it helps you if you ever need urgently money for those units at the bottom, and second, it blends more nicely with my other mod, Resource Revealing Rework. I suggest you check it out! :)
    • Education cleanup. Moved Research (process) to Philosophy.
      • By the way, I never use processes (except for the extreme end game) - you?
    • Civil Service cleanup. Laborer's (the unemployed guy's) boost moved to Banking. Embassy boost to Printing Press.
    • Machinery cleanup. Engineer boost moved to Chemistry. Quarry boost moved to Physics, from which move the Academy boost to Theology.
    • Chemistry cleanup. Citadel buff moved to Education.
    • Architecture cleanup. Town buff moved to Scientific Theory.
    • Metallurgy cleanup. Moved the Lumbermill and Log Camp boosts to Architecture.
    • Railroad cleanup. Town buff moved to Corporations.
    • Steam Power cleanup. Quarry boost moved to Metallurgy, mine boost moved to Dynamite.
    • Military Science and Telecom cleanup. Moved embassy buffs to Internet.
      IMHO, all of the Embassy boosts have slight relevancy.
    • Military Science cleanup. Moved map trading to Rifling.
      Map trading doesn't have a huge impact on the game, I think, and it's only slightly earlier like this.
    • Combustion cleanup. Moved logging camp, Lumbermill and Mine boosts to Corporations. Moved longer land Trade Routes to Penicillin.
      Corporation tech is now populated with lots of improvement boosts besides corporations, mostly themed around gold and a little around production. You can't see specific corporations on the tech tree anymore, but you never could see all of them anyway. The complete list of corporations should be visible at the corporations screen, I think.
    • Ballistics cleanup. Moved ice breaker promotion to Rocketry.


    Discussion

    As you can see, I couldn't completely clean up the tech tree without making changes to balance. That calls for a discussion! Let's break the changes down into major points.

    1) Policy-tied wonders. Do you think these must be tied to technologies? Do you think it's fair if they all have equal costs relatively to each other? I personally find it a fun experiment that doesn't disrupt balance too much, although it does make culture stronger than it currently is. There also might be an issue of forgetting to start building these wonders, because the policy screen doesn't emphasize these wonders as much as the tech screen, so it's easier to accidentally ignore them.

    I haven't changed the ideological wonders because, first and foremost, I didn't need to. Besides, they are not emphasized at all on the ideology screen, plus they provide a free policy upon construction, and there's no need to reward players leading in culture with so much more free culture.

    2) Policy-tied units and observatory. Specifically, the Landsknecht. Maybe this change warrants a CS reduction, maybe it's fine. Ultimately, this means that you can be an effective warmonger with either tech or culture superiority. Fun! Besides, I've always found this finisher weird, especially the fact that an ancient policy tree unlocks units in Modern and Atomic era.

    That's why I've moved Foreign Legions and Mercenaries to an ideology, but also because the Authority Finisher is so much stronger with the faster Landsknechts. Mercenary is sort of a successor to Foreign Legion, so they're still tied to techs. Once again, I didn't actually need to free up any of those techs.
    Observatory is a really minor change, IMO.

    3) Should any of these points actually be discussed in separate threads? Is there any chance they might be deemed reasonable enough to be included into VP?

    So how about this: I present to you Tidy Tech Tree and in exchange you present (or don't) to me feedback and criticism, and together we create something beautiful. :)

    Images

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Recent Updates

  1. v 1.6
  2. 1.5.1 Hotfix
  3. Tidy Tech Tree for VP v1.5
  4. TTT V1.4
  5. TTT V1.3