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Tech Trading Discussion

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Deljade, Nov 9, 2020.

  1. Deljade

    Deljade Warlord

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    I would like to discuss Tech Trading as of Patch 10-7. A lot of people play without Tech Trading, of course, but it is the default setting and I feel it has some merits to it, making it worth discussing. Specifically, Tech Trading occurs much more commonly in recent patches and the AIs value Techs at less gold.
    Some Pros and Cons compared to Research Agreements and having neither of them turned on, assuming no tech brokering and the current iteration of VP.
    Pros;
    -More equality between the AIs, it's much easier for all the players to keep up in Tech, making for a more challenging and interesting game for the human when (s)he does not have the absolute lead. I think this point cannot be understated. It is the main reason I desire Tech Trading system to be fine-tuned.
    -Potential to turn one's :c5science: into :c5gold:, covering for some builds' weak spots and giving interesting choices and options to the player.
    -Less restrictive, more potent than Research Agreements. RAs promote a specific playstyle. This is more of a neutral one than a pro, depending on how much you believe super peaceful tall, science play should be rewarded. I personally think it was too good in vanilla.

    Cons;
    -Severely messes up the game pace. Imagine 5 AIs entering Modern era at approximately the same time. They all have different priorities and each enter with a different Tech. One enters from Corporations, one from Combustion etc. The first column of Modern Era would normally take, let's say 30 turns to be completely discovered by a solo player. But now, if the AIs trade between them, the 5 Techs will be discovered in the time it takes to research 1 Tech. They are all able to afford all the trades because, as the Tech leaders, they Passed down the Techs they've researched to the other AIs in the game, for a price. Of course this specific scenario will not occur often, it's rare that there are 5 players on the same tech level with different priorities. But miniature versions of this scenario with 2 or 3 AIs happen quite often and is reinforced by the constant Tech Trading. As a result the pacing of the game post Industrial can be made extremely hectic and unenjoyable.
    -Maybe makes the game a bit too equal.
    -An advantage to the human player and their critical thinking and planning. I do not know how good the AIs are at assessing when and what to Tech trade. Do they pay for Techs they will have researched in 2 turns anyway? They probably do not have a plan in mind either. The human can plan his research with Tech Trading in mind, making it very easy for them to reach their desired goals.

    When thinking of the above points, it makes a good amount of sense that some adjustments are due (they should apply to Tech gifts also).
    A couple that come to mind would be making it so, if not hard implemented, for AIs to not trade Techs they've recently researched. This also has real world basis, nations will keep their groundbreaking discoveries a secret, except maybe to their closest allies during war.
    Furthermore, AIs should be much, much less willing to trade with other players on a similar, or higher Tech level than them. An AI that's been left in the dust Tech wise, should be able to buy some Techs in order to be a competent players in the game. But trading with equals, even friends, should be discouraged, so as to not mess up the game pace too much.
    Of course the above are aiming more at improving player experience. I do not actually know the difficulty implications.

    Let's discuss the current state of Tech Trading, the points I brought up, and brainstorm other ideas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  2. Glassmage

    Glassmage The Desert Flame

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    i always turn off tech trading and on RA, because I enjoy seeing civs have advantages in different lines of the tech tree.
     
  3. notaspambot

    notaspambot Chieftain

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    This is something I'd prefer not to see, actually. There should be more discrepencies between the AI, and the AI be encouraged to better abuse each other's weaknesses instead. Intentionally putting the AI on an equal playing field like this renders them less as individual actors with agency as opposed to a monolithic obstacle for the player to overcome.
     
  4. Nightmare Dusk

    Nightmare Dusk Chieftain

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    Agree, i want a few bots to be above me in techs and a few below, it helps each leader feel more like how he supposed to be. The culture one above you in policies, the science guys above you in tech, the warmongers somewhere in the middle of pack, rather then the culture bots getting all the techs for effectively free, getting rid of their disadvantage, so now they are the biggest threat with a tech lead over you and policy lead, anlong with the warmongers breathing down your neck with the more advance troops then they really should have. The easy war on the culture civs who are generally tech behind have the techs the science leader has. While tech trading realistically is a thing, Tech is supposed to be super valuable. when it's getting sold as low as 20gpt it undermines the science civs. Anything less than 50gpt i think shouldn't even exist
     
  5. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    Does it? Do they? I'm not saying you are wrong but it's not something I've noticed a big change in.
    Eh? In my games I tend to be the one who does most of the tech trading. AIs tend to want a lot of money if you buy techs from them. It's very rare for AIs to be willing to pay that much for tech. So I wonder how often this actually takes place.
     
  6. Deljade

    Deljade Warlord

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    If you have Tech Trading on but not Tech Brokering and an AI has discovered a Tech that you don't have but cannot trade it to you then they have traded for it. By checking this, I can deduce that most AIs have traded for most of their Techs in my games, though we'd have to have some kind of logs for that to be sure.
     
  7. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    I do, but I haven't encountered that in my games before (that I've noticed).

    What difficulty are you playing on?
     
  8. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian King

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    I hope you guys figure something out, because I have no idea how to make tech trading balanced so that it wouldn't be open to severe exploits or help the AIs too much compared to the human player. That's why I always play without tech trading.
     
  9. InkAxis

    InkAxis Prince

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    I think there could be (optional) restrictions.

    First, there could be a limit on how fast you can trade techs. So for instance you can only trade technologies you got 10 turns (scaling with gamespeed) ago, or something like that. That way it helps you catch up if you have Gold but not science, but it doesn't make everyone on par as they can't sell their most recent techs.

    Another option, which is more restricting, is that you need a diplomat in their capital to trade techs. This would also mean that techs don't just get instantly traded everywhere, as you need to get a diplomat to everyone you want to trade with. This would also probably be pretty easy to implement as it works exactly the same as vote trading.

    Again, both of these would be optional, probably enabled in setup or a game file. What are your thoughts?
     
  10. psparky

    psparky Prince

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    If by 'cannot trade it to you' you mean you see the 'Impossible' value, then that just means they are not prepared to trade it to you, not that they can't.

    It used to be (and may well still be) the case that you need to be on very friendly terms with an AI to buy a tech. Not technically requiring a DOF, but very favourable relations (I never yet could buy one without a DOF, but the code suggests it's not absolutely necessary).

    Check DiplomacyAI_TradeAgreements_Log as see the trades.
     

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