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Does the Civ V tech tree even make sense?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by DarkSchneider, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Poke

    Poke Warlord

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    I think everyone would agree about the silliness of wonders not requiring knowledge of masonry.

    Some Civ 4 mods had technologies that speed up the research some slightly later techs, and would make sense to do so in some cases. For banking though, some form of currency, be it coinage or commodity, is essential to give it meaning
     
  2. tylor

    tylor Warlord

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    Lame. What's the point of removing connectivity, just to smuggle it back immediately in a very unintuitive way?

    It would be better just to add synergy to how techs works. Good example is tanks techs, that allows you build tanks, but not without oil, which require different techs.

    Likewise, you have satellites tech rocketry, ok, you can build satellites, but only if you have a space port in city, and for space port you need rocketry.

    It can be more subtle. Like, you don't need masonry for wonders (technically, Great Library can be just a collection of scrolls in a cave), but Masonry gives huge bonus for Wonder building. You can have Banks without currency (which is also theoretically possible), but currency gives bonus to money building, making bank without it less useful. Etc, etc.
     
  3. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    Well, while avoiding rhetorical feints like "smuggle", it's a matter of integrating less rigidity and more strategy in tech research. I can see an interesting argument to be made for researching certain techs or avoiding them for (I dunno) flavor purposes.

    ...then again, when I sit down and think of resources, I imagine about double the amount as Civ games have ever used and I think of them the other way around. You shouldn't ABLE to research pottery without access to a clay resource, or iron working without an iron node, or bronze working without BOTH a tin and a copper resource.

    In short, I think the tech tree should be dependent on the resources, not the other way around. And, in keeping with that sort of thinking, the tech tree should allow for people to skip techs they simply CAN'T research... even if it comes with a research penalty, and a rigid tech tree simply doesn't allow for that.
     
  4. tylor

    tylor Warlord

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    I think resources in Civ5 means amount, required for industrial-scale harvesting and using. So, everyone have oil, or marble, or diamonds, at least enough for prototyping a technology, but not enough to make a whole army of tanks, or provide whole empire with bling-blings.
     
  5. Mesopotamian

    Mesopotamian Warlord

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    U wouldn't expect a civilization that has absolutely no knowledge of technologies such as philosophy, calender, animal husbandry or Civil Service to make it as far as reaching railroad

    the tech tree actually makes sense
     
  6. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    I'm not too fond of that interpretation.

    To me, it makes more sense that when you get mining, you should see all mine-able resources (other than maybe uranium, which requires a certain degree of more-sophisticated physics to understand; there's an argument to be made there, though). You put a mine on an iron node, and now you can research iron working. Once you do that, you can put it to use. (to refer to my previous posts, it would be cheaper to research iron working once you've researched bronze working, but it wouldn't be necessary and bronze working would require mined copper and tin resources).

    The way it works now, you develop a tech revolving around a mysterious substance you've never seen before and might not even have access to given the tiles you control, THEN you can see it on the map, THEN you can mine it, THEN you can use it. Silliness.

    They way you're saying it could be interpreted, you essentially have every resource in the game, just not enough to do anything with... unless you develop a tech, find a concentration of that resource, and improve it. Also (and please take no offense) pretty silly.
     
  7. civnoob13

    civnoob13 King

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    Hate that idea. No way should you be able to research satelites before you have learnt of astronomy, no matter how long it will take.

    Love that idea
     
  8. JohnnyW

    JohnnyW Gave up on this game

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    @Harvestmoon: I must quote Poke from earlier in the thread as I feel you missed his message:

    Why would I spend 5k turns only to get Satellites when I can get Satelllites and all its prereqs for less turns? There is absolutely no set of circumstances that makes your idea logical or realistic.
     
  9. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    No, I read the post, it just doesn't speak to the point. Poke saw an opportunity to use "a priori" and jumped on it. :rolleyes:

    Well, given that the game typically ends on turn 500, I should think you wouldn't, which is the very point of the hyper-inflated research time. What is now an absolutely necessary, no-questions-asked prerequisite tech would instead grant a -% to the next tech in the line, but not serve as a wall prohibiting clever teching.

    Ooooother than the fact that such a feat SHOULD be critically and prohibitively penalized?

    In short, you missed the point, friend.

    The idea was that all techs would technically be open to research at any time, but through clever teching, one could get what they wanted without being forced along a set path.

    So, sure, if you wanted to lose you could set your 4000 BC civilization to research Satellites for 5,000 turns (or whatever), and the AI would roflstomp your cavemen as they intelligently paced themselves through the techs in a way that wasn't ridiculous... but that's a patently losing strategy.

    Instead, I would expect to see people making meaningful decisions about what techs to research instead of just stepping along the tree with little sense of strategy in their decisions, other than the here-and-there critical techs (like iron working, gunpowder, rifling, biology, etc) that people tend to gun for.

    So, in effect, it makes perfect sense. Anyone trying to research satellites before they figure out how to add 2 + 2 is in for a long slog and a guaranteed loss.
     
  10. JohnnyW

    JohnnyW Gave up on this game

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    My Q is, what's the point? How will you make it so that just teching up the current path isn't the best option? Not only do you get the intermediate benefits, but you also get a boost to the next tech. If you can, throw out an example where someone would want to skip techs using your method and wouldn't be punished from simply having a longer wait time with fewer techs.
     
  11. Creepy Old Man

    Creepy Old Man Warlord

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    Would you like to see Civ VI follow a SMAC-style research system? There, every tech belongs to one of four categories, although the categories are shuffled through the tech tree. You don't choose which particular tech to research, but only which category. So you can choose to receive a military tech next, or a pure science tech, or whichever. This allows a civilization to specialize, but avoids the troubles of bee-lining.

    As for eliminating all prerequisites, that would cause havoc with any form of instant tech (tech trading or research agreements, beakering, Great Library, etc...). Imagine getting the free tech "fusion power" when you build the GL! And sure, skipping over the occasional optional tech might be valuable, but remember in Civ I when you could aquire techs without prerequisites (from trading, for example)? I always hate when some backward civilization that doesn't even have map making is sending bombers against me! How do they even find me?
     
  12. tylor

    tylor Warlord

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    Human history is probably silly indeed. But it's a fact that people had access to meteoritic iron long before they learned how to produce it from ore in big quantities, used rockets and gunpowder for fireworks long before large-scale warfare, used spices and gold long before huge sources of them were found in Americas, Asia, etc.

    Uranium was discovered in 1789, long before being widely used as a power source. Petroleum was drilled since 347 AD. Etc, etc.

    On the other hand, whole concept of tech advancing in Civ seems to be silly and hacky. I much prefer lean-by-use model, that was proposed repeatedly by different people (and for different civ versions), but not yet modded in by anyone for some reason...
     
  13. civnoob13

    civnoob13 King

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    If the tech tree was actually decent, there would be no difference between the two system, other than the logical absurdity that cavemen would say 'I know, let's try to build something that would orbit around the earth, although we don't know what gravity is or the shape of the earth, with no knowledge of physics whatsoever'. Do you think that you would be able to research rocketry without astronomy? These are a an 'absolutely necessary, no-questions-asked prerequisite tech'. To say that astronomy would allow you to research rocketry slightly faster, rather than allow you to research it at all, is absurd. There should clearly be bounds and there clearly should be a tree of techs. The tech tree just has to become more logical so the prerequisites actually are prerequisites.
     
  14. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I don't mind the idea of a slightly more open tech tree, but the problem with it is that it makes a logistical nightmare. So when you need to research a new tech, you're going to pop open a list of all 100 or whatever techs, with research times going from 5 turns to 5000?

    Keeping pre-reqs is fine. It's just easier to manage. Sure, some links are awkward, and some are probably missing to keep the tree somewhat uncluttered, but overall it's not bad. I do like that there's no dead ends - I always thought it was weird in civ4 getting techs like archery, horseback riding, and the like, from the internet. Or researching "future tech" before "hunting"
     
  15. ChandlerB

    ChandlerB Chieftain

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    Well the Maya's researched the tech "When the World Ends" without "The Wheel" but seriously I agree with all the talk of turning the tech ladder into a tree and REALLY like the flavored golden age suggestion. I know it is heretical to refer to BTS but I really miss the options of getting to tech D by researching A and B or A and C or units dependent on resources A and B or A and C.
     
  16. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    Okay, lemme think...

    Navigation should, for the most part, require Astronomy and the Compass, but you could feasibly skip one or the other. Having both should make getting Navigation easier than only having one of them.

    Obviously, Sailing is needed (no questions asked) before you can hope to get to Navigation (which in the context of Civ games is really just "Advanced Sailing"), but I think there's an argument to be made against absolutely requiring Education before you can go from Sailing to Navigation, but that having Education should make it easier.

    And as I stated before, you'd never win a Civ game if you teched Satellites before anything else, so it's not like it would ever be a successful strategy. You're really making my point for me, here. If it takes you 5,000 turns (a number I pulled out of my colon, by the way; I haven't sketched out any math on this idea) to develop that tech, you lose (and you probably lose within the first 100 turns, at that).

    Case closed.

    So while the option might be available, it's an obviously stupid decision to make. If you want Satellites faster than anyone else, get its research cost down to a level where you can focus on science and gun for it by picking up techs that facilitate the development of that technology... but don't tell me that I absolutely have to have Rifling to develop Satellites...

    In the end, all I've been saying is that, if designed intelligently, such a tech system would promote strategic teching and meaningful decisions as your civilization advances.

    I appreciate all of your constructive criticisms. :)
     
  17. Poke

    Poke Warlord

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    Don't do that. Dismissing someone's point because you don't like the language they use is asinine. Just to annoy you further, it's an ad hominem attack :p

    Why do you think it doesn't speak to the point? It takes you satellites example and states the prereq techs are needed in the process. If you say you don't have access to those techs, then it means you have to research them again.
    Say you spends your turns researching Satellites, bypassing physics, rockets etc. You'd have to research those again for their own sakes, or ones that would depend on them on the old tree
     
  18. Harvestmoon

    Harvestmoon Chieftain

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    Okay, Poke, jeez you're so sensitive. I'll respond to you super-special-specifically...

    ...your post wasn't speaking to the point, which was that I don't think the tech tree works very well as it is. All you did was reiterate how the extant tech tree idea works. I know how the tech tree works. I was positing an alternative way of thinking about it.

    And as much as my response was ad hominem, your post was simply begging the question: does the tech tree have to work this way?

    So I didn't see the point in responding to your specifically at the time, because nothing I could say specifically to you would push the discussion past the starting line anymore than my prior posts.
     
  19. Poke

    Poke Warlord

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    First paragraph talked quickly about the development of technology in real life, the second was the criticism of your idea, and was further added too by other people here

    It's not ideal, but it's tolerable. Some of the techs don't appear to fit in with the development of Satellites, say agriculture or what not, but people have pointed out that it would be strange of a society not to have such early techs, not to mention the cultural and technological progress derived from agriculture, progress that leads to definite requirements for satellites.
    Some of the decisions Firaxis made for the tree seem odd, fair enough. Chivalry is not a necessary condition for banking, banking could have come about from other means, but its easy to see the cultural links between the two, and they don't need to be made explicit if these links don't actually add anything to the game. I'd like a more diverse and complicated tech tree, which is why I like the Civ 4 mods more than vanilla BTS, but I can understand their reasoning for shortening it, if that is their reason.
    Granted, some techs might not need to be researched. A civilization could theoretically exist without any conventional monetary economy, negating the needs of feudalism, banking etc. No idea if one could have developed and survived, but yes it could lead to a different path to satellites and robotics. I'd love to see such ideas implemented , convergent evolution tech paths but there's no room in such a simple game as CiV

    Fall from Heaven had a different tree, where you could research high level techs of one branch without having to develop early techs from another, which is fantastic because it potentially opens up a lot of strategy. Fall from Heaven's tree though works in a shorter time frame, and doesn't need to mimic the real life evolution of technology


    It wasn't the lack of response, it's just soul crushing to be told that it was dismissed through choice of words. Like I said, the criticism was there. It's functionally the same as setting a goal in the cilivilapedia, which you'll reach without having to manually pick the techs. To research satellites directly would mean you'd have to research the component techs, even if they're not made explicit in the game - what would you need to get a satellite into orbit?
     
  20. IncurableVirus

    IncurableVirus Chieftain

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    I think that the idea where you can research ANYTHING at any time is a little much. There are situations in which the usual prerequisite technologies could be bypassed by means of researching other technology. For example you can get research E from a combination of two of any of the four technologies; A, B, C, or D. That is just about as far as you can stretch this idea though.

    Considering satellites. There should be NO reason for a caveman to have any form of ability to research this. That is what it really comes down to. A cave man could not concieve a satellite! The basic truth is that prerequisite technologies would have to be researched. There is no way that sateillites could be made without understanding of flight, rocketry, metal working, computers, rebotics, electronics, electricity, physics, math, space, radiation, and SO many more.

    In addition to this, it is important to note that a technology such as Music should not be a prerequisite. In no way does the study of music relate to satellites or any of its prerequisite technologies. Instances such as these do exist, but should be fixed. I agree in this aspect for sure!

    Prerequisite needs to be in the game as its only logical. As previously stated, no caveman could even concieve the idea of a satellite, as all technology is the result of inspiration found from previous technology.* Technology which is unrelated to a path of study should not be forced upon a player. I say add more technologies so there is room to create a detailed tree. Even split technologies up. Knowledge on 1/2 of one technology may be all that is needed to research another. By splitting them, additional technologies could be created and thus a more detailed and strategic approach can be taken on research.

    BUT! It would be possible to reach satellites without a technology like Roads (even though this technology does not exist in Civ). I have no problems with a game where a player can be in a situation where they can decide between researching roads and satellites. It is important to provide options, but not so many as to make the game unrealistic. Even though most civilizations would make roads long before they make satellites based on necessity, satellites could exist without them.

    I think that the point of this is simply to create the option instead of a boring path that all must follow with little room to utilize strategy. This is right and by all means supported but not when the options become drastically unrealistic, even if a player would not get anything accomplished within the span of and entire game.

    Signed,
    Virus

    *Unless you are nostradamus and can predict the future.

    Edited: OP did not make much sense, edited for clarification 1/7/11_5:33EST
     

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