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Discussion of the Tech Web

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Polycrates, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

    Dec 15, 2006
    Hey all, just thought I'd start a discussion of the new tech web and see what people think. BERT made a fair amount of changes to the tech web - there's affinity added to branch techs, there's a lot more affinity available earlier, and there's also the hybrid units sprinkled around here and there.

    Anyway, here's the BERT tech web:
    Spoiler :

    Here's the tech web with some really classy annotations of mine (legend is below the picture):
    Spoiler :

    The coloured lines are links between branches that provide points in the same affinity.

    Spots on units and buildings are the relevant affinity they are locked to (or at least that affinity's strategic resource).

    The numbers beside the techs (1-3) are the number of non-affinity techs are needed to get to a given affinity tech. I've put a line under ones that require going through a tech that benefits a different affinity to get to it. The reasoning being that an 'affinity-neutral' tech branch is likely to have strong benefits for all the affinities, while one from another affinity is more likely to be a 'waste' for those not pursuing it. A dotted line under the Harmony techs from Computing, since that's such an important tech for everyone.

    And V indicates it's a required tech for that affinity's victory. Note that Purity and Supremacy get a line to Communications because it's a victory tech.

    And finally, here's the BE tech web for comparison:
    Spoiler :

    So what's immediately obvious is Harmony's big straight line down the right hand side picking up the three main units, the xenomass improvement and some important buildings. The neutral techs to the top also skew in a fairly Harmony direction. On the other hand, Harmony does stay fairly 'pure' - it's very easy for them to not pick up much of the other affinities until they go for the more out-of-the-way victory techs towards the end of the game.

    The second is Supremacy's big web down the bottom left - they can go a long way without really even touching a non-affinity tech. Slight detour for firaxite but no biggie. And their victory techs are very convenient too. They're also going to pick up a fair chunk of both of the other affinities on their way. On the other hand, their hybrid units are really out of the way.

    And finally, Purity is really a lot more all over the place. There's a line down the left with a couple of their units, but it's the opposite direction from their resource, and they're just generally much less focused. Quite a lot of orphan techs too.

    Beyond that, there are some specific placements that are just weird. The Supremacy augmentary on the terminal end of a Purity line with no Supremacy in sight. Even though the tech is "augmentation", which kinda sounds like a textbook Supremacy tech to me anyway. Purity never asked for this.
    Field Theory - a Harmony tech in the middle of Supremacy/Purity land, and with a Purity building on it to boot. I can't really see many Harmony strategies making a lotta use out of this one.
    The Molecular Forge - the only regular building on a ring 3 (tier 5) leaf tech, and it's a Harmony building on a no-affinity tech on a Supremacy branch. Also its name and pedia entry don't match its effect at all.
    Organ Printer - Heavy Supremacy requirement for a building waay inside Harmony-town.
    And the hybrid units - Golem and Aquillon in a very affinity-light area of the web, Harmony/Purity Throne in a Purity/Supremacy zone, Harmony/Supremacy Geliopod in a very Supremacy-light area.

    Is any of this necessarily a bad thing? No, and it could be argued that some of these placements encourage a hybrid approach, and give something for everyone, and prevent getting locked into beelines. But I can't help feeling that some of it just waters down some already somewhat dubious outer areas of the web, to the point where it ends up being not really worth it for anybody.

    Anyway, just throwing this out there for peoples' thoughts on what works and what doesn't.

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  2. Idleray

    Idleray Warlord

    Aug 2, 2009
    My biggest gripe with the tech web is that all the buildings unlocked by the outermost ring techs are more or less worthless. At that stage of the game investing production into winning directly through either victory wonders or military is more effective.
  3. Ishea

    Ishea Chieftain

    Oct 10, 2015
    What I hate is I can't zoom out like in the old one.
  4. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

    Dec 24, 2008
    Yeah, in the end these problems don't really matter, since you don't get late game techs for the unlocks, you get them for Affinity. There is really no reason to bother with Tier IV+V stuff at this point unless it is mandatory for your victory condition (e.g. Nanorobotics).

    The way to fix the problem? I don't know. Before the Affinity victory requirements aren't changed there is little you can do to fix the web. I guess reducing the outer tech costs and adjusting the affinity gains to tech cost investment would help, but it still doesn't fix the problem that you will ignore anything but your Affinity.
  5. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

    Feb 7, 2015
    Excellent analysis. I will point out that, while Harmony does have the largest cluster of connected techs, it also needs to go all the way to the other side of the web to unlock its victory techs.
    Your point about buildings like the Organ Printer and the Molecular Forge (I’d add the Augmentary, and there are probably others as well) is particularly worth noting. Not only does it make these buildings difficult to access, the unfocused nature of these techs further reduces the already low incentives to research non-victory outer rim techs.
    Finally, while I think spreading affinity points out in the tech web was an excellent choice, making every leaf tech (and every branch tech) give the same number of affinity points, regardless of its cost or position, was a huge mistake. It adds an entirely unnecessary incentive to fill in cheap techs, even if you don’t care what they actually unlock, and it makes hybridization, especially to the 5-5-5 happiness boost, a bit too easy.
  6. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

    Nov 30, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    I feel some of this comes from it the tech web being "retrofitted" for RT's branch affinity XP. If you look at the leaf affinity points, it's a lot clearer in terms of "regions". If the main techs were re-arranged into more coherent regions with hybridising (even as is) at the leaves, it'd be a lot more interesting while still encouraging hybridising. Nevertheless, the first two rings are still very solid, same for the things placed on it.

    One of the bigger issues, I find, is that the outer ring techs are actually not connected, which would allow sideways traversal - something the second ring has in carefully placed spots allowing, for example, Purity and Supremacy to "jump" to other techs in a way Harmony can't.

    As for personal nitpicks:
    • For some reason Supremacy and Purity have their victory techs as branches not leaves (which would be a much better place) - yet Harmony has two leaf techs for victory?
    • Autogyros is one of the techs where the fiction, the units and placement make no sense. They're basically helicopters and they give you the SABR and teleportation!? :confused:
    • In terms of location, Planet Carvers and Orbital Lasers are way too close together. They are too far to be direct upgrades but too close to be alternative units to arrive at depending on your tech path, what's up with that?
    • And given the strong "directions", how do the techs affinity markers not match the web directions?
  7. MAMoob

    MAMoob Chieftain

    Oct 30, 2014
    I think lack of good earlygame sats that require strategic resources makes Kozlov bad. I'd like to see weaker combat sats available much earlier, with maybe some science sats (tile yield, not % based) somewhere in the ~900 science techs, that would require strategics.

    Lategame buildings mostly are just bad because they take way too many turns to pay off (more than the earlygame buildings, which is odd). There are some decent ones if you beeline for them though e. g. nanopastures are not that bad if you grab nanorobotics early as a free tech via institutes.
  8. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

    Feb 11, 2005
    The problem isn't the buildings themselves. It's the victory mechanics. The buildings are meant to be simulationist, but they contrast hard to the gamist nature of VCs, and Civ games have never had good VCs to begin with.

    I have an idea for how to make the VCs better. First, locate all the different VC tech requirements to all the most distant parts of the tech web. After that, require many multiple Wonder buildings (minimum 9). Then require a turn minimum after all conditions are met.
  9. Greasy Dave

    Greasy Dave Prince

    Oct 30, 2010
    I truly couln't believe this wasn't possbile...I like so much about the new graphics for the web...but you can't zoom in or out wtf?

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