Civ4 Tech tree?


Feb 19, 2002
A lot has been said about the tech tree in Civ3. Many people on this forum - but also on Joystick101 - have argued that it offers just a limited evolutionary path, mainly focused on European and American tech development.

Last weekend, I read an article about a Belgian student who put four years into developing a poster depicting basically the total history of the world. Maybe Firaxis should take a look at because I would loooove to see a tech tree like that.

PS: I do not know this student or the company, so please don't consider this as a commercial posting. I just think his timeline had something to do with the tech tree discussions going on.
The tech tree seems to be making less sense as the civ generations proceed. I mean, look at the new civ3 monarchy prequisites (then look at civ2, which makes much more sense), and why do currency, mapmaking, construction and horseback riding need to be invented before monotheism is possible? And what the heck is free artistry? Not exactly what I'd call a technology. It's a shame the epitome of tech tree perfection (that includes balance) came with civ2. Every tech path almost ws viable. Civ3's tech tree is ridiculous, most techs I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot barge pole if I didn't have to get them all just to progress through the ages.
I agree. For example, why does Democracy need the printing press? :)

What also gets me is why does mapmaking need the alphabet? (Even "Alphabet" is misleading, since most civs started out - and some still have it - pictographs. China being a prime example). Even those started out as pictures. (i.e., the Chinese character for river, once looked like a river. The character for tree once looked like a tree with tree roots growing into the ground. The one for 'field' looked like a rice-field for farming).

I also saw on the History channel (or the Discovery channel) that mapmaking came about when traders had to find their way to the next city. (Which is how pictograms probably got their start. If you look at Chinese characters, that's how it's done for coutries. 'China' is "middle country" (the center of the world. :)), and Japan is 'Sun's origin', or "Land of the Rising Sun". There's even one for the U.S. - "Rice Country").

So, I think the alphabet/pictograms came about through mapmaking. I wonder what that will do for trade...
Guys, I don't know what all the fuss is about concerning the tech tree in civIII. It is well thought-out, clean, structured, and above all, SIMPLE. This simplicity serves the game well, as it provides an interesting array of techs, without becoming way too complicated. They threw in the optional advances as a way of diversifying a player's possible strategies concerning linear tech development. This is the same reason that they kept the government structure the same as CivII, because they considered SMAC's government system to be too complicated, and they wanted a simplistic, yet elegant and workable device for steering your nation through differing forms of government. Above all, they wanted to keep the game as simple as possible, while providing the player with as much diversity as possible concerning development strategy. It is a fine balance between complexity and playability, and in my opinion the team at Firaxis did as good a job as can be reasonably expected. ;)
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