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Tech tree brainstorming

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Nightinggale, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    therefore I propose that we postpone discussion of any new features to the upcoming of the release.
     
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  2. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    An alternative or complement to straight up disabling ships, since by itself it does nothing to obsolete ships in circulation, would be vanilla civ -style unit upgrade system for ships.
    For instance the ships used during the 15th and 16th exploratory centuries had been completely phased out for a long time before USA's independence in the 18th century, so being able of phasing them out (besides war losses and selling) would be very immersive.
     
  3. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    IMO research points don't really fit this game though, and tech progression should occur independently of the player, since the driver of tech at the time was mostly in Europe, a player's colonies' motherland. This should also be advantageous for the AI, and for smaller colonies that would otherwise be unable of outputting as much research.
     
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  4. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    While most inventions came from Europe, there still needs to be steps of progression for the colonies.
    e.g. the Kentucky Long Rifle
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_rifle
    was invented in the colonies, while Britain simply continued mainly (they had some sharpshooters using rifles) to use Muskets which were cheaper and fulfilled their purpose on a regulated battlefield,
    e.g. the Brown Bess which was used for over 150 years with minor variances, and was started to use 50 years before the rebellion of the US
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Bess

    Additionally while e.g. the dutch may have invented e.g. the Fluyt in Europe, we need not only to simulate when the Fluyt would be available to be bought in Europe but when to be able to build them yourself in a colony and if that all should happen simultaneously for all players, dutch or otherwise, or dutch first and others a few years later or like
    Fluyt availalable to be bought by the dutch player in Europe --> + 5 years fluyt to be available to be bought by all players in their european ports --> +5 years fluyt can be built by the dutch in the colonies as their wharfs have been modified --> +5 years everyone can build the fluyt...?
     
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  5. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I really want to unlock contents like units through the game, but I still think we are missing one really important part of the puzzle: how should unlocking work in terms of gameplay? I mean what should the player do to progress?

    There is a proposal about a building where units can produce research. There is a proposal about timed events. I don't feel like that will really fit the theme of the mod. I mean sure we could add YIELD_RESEARCH, which can then be used in a tech tree. Medieval Conquest has that. However can't we find something, which feels more like what would happen in the colonies?
     
  6. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    X turns pass (modified by game speed): "news from europe" or something, shipmakers back at home have now started producing galleons! [insert historical flavour here]
    - We need that! (pay gold or something, unlock unit)
    - Who cares? (after X turns unit unlocks for free)

    or if multiple techs "arrive" at the same time, the player could choose which one the colony should focus on and thus acquire first, and then the other techs unlocking after X turns

    I don't really see the need for the player to have to do anything to progress though. In the game's timeframe most new advancements are made on the other side of the ocean and just spread over the colonies over time. It's immersive and makes the game interesting, not everything needs to be based on making the player do stuff. In fact too much stuff can end up with too much micro...

    Though I suppose there could be a few techs based on investment done in the colonies. Locally developed-ish ships would be a gunboat/"gundallow" and a "row-galley" in the case of the 13colonies. The colonial navy's frigates seem to have been better than average in firepower, partly because they had and built almost no ships of the line. Colonial warfare also differed a fair amount from that of Europe, nor against natives nor in the revolutionary war. There's also the larger use of slaves than in Europe.

    On the topic of ships, the REF really needs to be reworked. As is it has more first rates than any world power ever built IRL, and makes naval war vs the REF completely braindead and uninteresting.
     
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  7. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    I already mentioned the Kentucky Long Rifle as an invention of the New World, not from Europe.
    The same is true for the Cotton Gin (though something that historically was invented only after Independance
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_gin
    and made cotton plantations much more profitable and was part of the cause that made the southern states so wealthy before the Secession War.
    It´s invention was one of the major reasons that the South aquired more and more slaves starting from 700.000 in the 18th century to almost 3 million at the start of the war.

    Yet it is satisfying to hear something like e.g. "Congratulations! You have established the first university in the New World. The exchange of knowledge from the universities in Europe will now be much faster" and a further event a bit later granting some technology than simply stating "The Netherlands had invented Fluyts 10 years ago. Now you may build them too."

    And it should be at least somewhat like that. The US did not fight Britain alone and if so would have lost severely due to lack of ammunition, cannons (e.g. de Valliere cannons)
    It was the fleet of France
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-American_alliance
    which maintained the blockade of Cheasapeake Bay and caused Cornwallis to surrender in Yorktown because he could neither receive supplies and reinforcements from the sea, nor retreat over the sea.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Chesapeake
    19 vs. 24 Ships of the Line

    That a Continental Navy could even be started
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Navy
    is due to the fact that the British had to leave a Home Fleet in Europe to prevent the threat of french landings in England.
     
  8. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    IMHO do not use one way for all, but individual way.
    The Dutch invented the fluyt - a while later the Stadtholder could inform them about the new ship and that he allows colonies with shipyards to produce that new invention for the almost gifted price of 100 gold.
    The Russiand aquired naval knowledge using Diplomacy during Peter the Great´s voyage through Europe and his studies in the Netherlands and could get a message from the Tsar about that using historical events as a basis.

    A first step could simply be to move from an "Age of Exploration" to .. of Conquest" with half of the Europeans having established their first colony and explored say 5% of the map which moves technology to the gunpowder age and unlocks the next available ship after the Caravel.
     
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  9. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    As you quoted yourself, "In the game's timeframe most new advancements are made on the other side of the ocean and just spread over the colonies over time."
    Most =/= all, feel free to mod-in exceptions though.

    There's already an event for the first university, which in the new world was established really early on, 1538. So the first university by itself doesn't bring on enlightenment.

    that's pretty cool, hadn't seen it before

    The British had 2 second rates and 17 various third rates, the French had a first rate, 23 third rates of 3 different kinds, plus 2 frigates. In the meanwhile the vanilla ship of the line model classifies it as a fourth rate, while the "man o war" doesn't really qualify as anything because it has the guns of a medium third rate while having 3 decks like a first or second, which would have roughly twice as many guns. ^_^

    My problem with the REF fleet is it is literally made up of 1 ship, representing either a first or second rate. Even in the linked battle there were no more than 3 such ships in both sides total. Would be far more immersive for it to be made up of a realistically proportioned assortment of ships, and the player would then be able to opportunistically fight the weaker half of the REF navy, making it a far more interesting, complex, strategic and tactical naval war than vanilla.

    I'm still playing around with overhauling the navies, but if anyone knows where to find/mod the REF then please let me know :)

    What would be really cool as well would be if upon starting the independence war, for friendly Europeans to provide a few high-tier ships, to simulate somewhat the example of French intervention.
     
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  10. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    The idea that technology should arrive at random and then you buy it sounds like Imperialism. Techs have a fixed time where they become available, perhaps with a bit of random range and then the player can buy them.
    Spoiler :


    I have to say while I like this game (particularly when it was new), I say the tech part is kind of weak and not that attractive. Research in Imperialism 2 is far more attractive. Research speed depends on how many other players has the tech in question and is boosted significantly if you have a spy at a player with the tech. Research speed heavily depends on the amount of money spent each turn and if somebody else has it, research can be done without spending money. This system means players have to stay active to stay ahead while players lacking behind will get research discounts, hence make it easier to catch up. It affects game balance in an interesting way.
    Spoiler :


    One thing I'm wondering about is to make techs require CivEffects rather than techs. Sure a tech provides a CivEffect, but so can civics, traits and a bunch of other stuff. Events should be able to grant players with CivEffects too. This means the system will be highly flexible regarding trigger conditions for progressing. Also technically speaking it's CivEffects, which provides the effect like unlocking units or buildings.

    I'm wondering about linking cargo production to tech progression. Say weaver's shop requires X cloth to be produced at weaver's houses. This way a player will unlock depending on what the terrain provides and that will make it easier to set up a system where unlocking will not be the same over and over in every game.

    We could have a building where units can produce YIELD_TECH. However it's useless unless a tech is being researched meaning it's a building we don't need unless we did something else to unlock something. Say for instance produced enough cloth to unlock being able to research next tier weaver building. Instead of a new building, we could get away with a new profession at the school buildings, making you have to pick between educating units and doing research.

    An added benefit of this is that if we use events as trigger conditions for unlocking new techs for research, it would likely require that we add even more options for event trigger conditions, making events even more flexible in what you can do in xml setup.

    I'm not saying it should be like I have written here. I'm saying we should all brainstorm on figuring out a setup, which makes it feel like it blends in naturally with the gameplay and make the game more appealing without making it overly complex. The learning curve is steep already. Ideally techs should make the learning curve more manageable by the fact that new players will not access everything at once. However the benefit to the learning curve highly depend on the tech progression itself not being a steep learning curve and instead be something, which feels intuitive.
     
  11. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Generally when it comes to "Techs" (or whatever we will call them) I feel that we should have the following:

    1. Player should make active choices and thus being able to strategically influence them by his playstyle.
    The System of Professions / Buildings / Experts works pretty well and is easy to teach AI.

    2. The "Techs" should blend nicely into the mod considering immersion.
    Nothing that is beyond the timeline of Civ4Col or not fitting the scenario should be included.

    3. "Techs" should not give more boring production bonusses because we already have enough of that.
    Instead they should rather unlock new Units / Building Upgrades / Civics / Promotions ... or influece other game features ...

    4. "Techs" should have additional options for gameplay.
    E.g. Trading them with other European Nations or getting "Native Techs" from Goodies or First Contact with Natives.

    -----

    Theoretically we could have several "Tech Categories":

    1. Inventions (unlocked by new Yield Research - 2nd Profession with Expert "Researcher" in Education Buildings)
    2. Social Advances (unlocked by new Yield Social Debate - Profession with Expert "Philosopher" in Tavern Buildings)
    3. Native Knowledge (no Yield - found in Goodies / First Contact or buyable from Natives - factoring in relations to the Natives for Price)
    4. Royal Permissions (unlocked by Yield Culture to be buyable from the King - factoring in the relationship to your King for Price)
    ...

    Thus we would have a lot of different options / strategies available for the Player to acquire these "Techs".
    And again, all of them could be made "tradeable" with other Europeans. (Except maybe "Royal Permissions")

    -----

    @Nightinggale
    I am perfectly fine with using CivEffects as technical solution for the effects. :thumbsup:

    -----

    But to be clear about it:
    This is a "monster feature" that will require a lot of concepting, implementing, testing, balancing, graphics (2D Buttons), texts, ...
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  12. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    m8, "X turns pass (modified by game speed)" =/= "arrive at random"
    "Who cares? (after X turns unit unlocks for free)" =/= "and then you buy it"

    Maybe I should have specified X as a pre-set parameter and not as a random value, thought "(modified by game speed)" would have implied that.

    Oh, I thought you were trying to offend me with the imperialism lmao my bad

    But yes, my examples were to add to your event-based suggestion. If techs are set to trigger after X turns, X being how many turns (at the current gamespeed) it takes to get more or less to the historical years of that tech, then giving the player some choice as to unlocking the tech faster or slower.


    As I've expressed before I really don't think a research yield fits in this game, though it's ultimately you dev's decision.
    Events can always include nice flavour text about the tech itself, and I suppose it wouldn't require new UI, but then again, idk how much work UI is so maybe it's not that bad anyway. I also imagine a simpler system now would always allow for a more sophisticated one later on.
     
  13. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Sounds good to me. If we add a tech category xml file, then we should be able to make all of them use the same code, but with different xml settings, like yields have a tech category tag. This way we can code support for one and once it's working, adding more types will likely not be a huge task from a programming point of view. In fact if Inventions works, then Social Advances sounds like an xml only addition.

    Sure there will still be all the work with xml, balancing and all that. I'm not saying this is minor. However programming is a major task, particularly when focusing on performance, avoid OOS issues and all that. The more we can build this feature by using "blocks" of tested and working code, the better and the less time the programming part will take before we have working bugfree code. No programming plan could result in a lot of cool ideas, but not enough programmers to finish it within reasonable time.

    Yeah it's not something we except within a few months. However if we are ever going to get something like this, then we need to start the process at some point. One important aspect is to have a roadmap where it can be added in steps. It's no good if it takes 5 years before we have the first playable version.

    I'm actually talking about Imperialism 1 and Imperialism 2. Maybe it wasn't clear for people who aren't familiar with games released during the late 90s. Having played those for many hours I have an impression about how the tech system works in those and it contributes to deciding what I want and don't want in WTP.

    I think making it a yield is a good idea regardless of how we end up designing it. It gives xml modding freedom and much easier expandability in the future. I prefer to code in a way, which will not be restrictive in case people come up with new ideas later. Next question is then how to produce said yields. It may or may not be professions.

    EDIT: forgot to reply to this one.
    Right now UI is "free" in the sense that we just consider what can be done and what we want. Right now I can't imagine any UI, which will change the workload for implementing this dramatically.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  14. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    Don't mix up the later large Heavy Frigates with the ones constructed during the WOI. The earlier frigates were mostly armed with 12-pounders, but often with a wild mix of guns which reduced their combat value even more. The later frigates were more comparable (in size and displacement) to razeed 74-gun ships.

    Although the U.S. authorised the building of three 74-gun ships, only one, the "America", was launched and completed after a build time of 6 years. In 1782 it was presented to the French pre-launch. Its "armament was insignificant by European standards": 30-18pdrs + 32-12pdrs + 14-9pdrs. The ship did not last long. After 3 years of service the French found it to be entirely rotten, i.e. it was built with bad (or non-seasoned?) timber, and ordered it to be broken up. You need to be experienced in building large (war)ships to construct reliable ships. The 13 Colonies didn't have a comparable naval construction history (yet!) like the Europeans which led to inferior ships. I don't know if we want to represent their experience in the mod, but keeping in mind the superior Royal Navy the outcome should (almost) be the historical one.

    ATM the REF represents the units available to the player, i.e. modern ships from the get-go. The "tech" tree should be the remedy. Yep, the naval side of the game is not as well developed as the rest of the game. (Europa Universalis suffers the same fate)

    The ship types I'd like to see in the mod eventually would be (in decreasing size): flagship - battleship - cruiser - coast guard (large merchantman - medium merchantman - colonial "coastal" merchantman). This roster would be entirely filled during the whole game length, with new designs occasionally popping up and replacing an outdated one. During the WOI this would like like : 100-gun three-decker - 74-gun two-decker - 18-pounder frigate - cutter ("merchantman" - brig - brigantine), while a bunch of ships of the respective earlier design might still be floating. (Have I said that ships should only have life span of ~20 years?) Such a structure I'd also like to see with regard to the Royal Navy, i.e. the player should be able to win a few picked battles. Supporting European powers should throw in their navies as sort of a fleet-in-being which prevents that our king can send his main battle fleet across the Atlantic to stop our tiny rebellion. They should also occasionally spare a few battleships (read: a mixed squadron) which could show up at our coast frustrating the ongoing land war of our king.
     
  15. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    You are mentioning shiptypes that were not in use until far later.
    During the american WoI there were no shiptype "Cruiser", only cruising warships that could be frigates or sloops of war on a certain mission.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser

    "Battleship" was first used to describe ironclad warships around 1880 so would be out of time, just like Cruiser.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battleship

    The shiptypes in Colonization are not specific ships. A "Galleon" ingame is just an abstraction of variations of Galleons used by different nations that differed even more over time as that shiptype was used over 150 years. An early spanish Galleon would be very different from a late english one - but for simplification and because "Galleon" is the bestknown shiptype when it comes to the Silver Train and the Treasure Fleet of the Spanish it is used as THE treasure transport of the game.

    Setting a lifespan on ships would run counter to everything else in the game. Have a ship rot after 20 years - when an Expert Hunter can hunt for 300 years?
    In addition, for a well maintained ship that visits drydock every few years and is wellbuilt lifespans of far beyond 20 years were possible.
     
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  16. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    The vanilla ship are not that good. (There have been a few re-scins which should be inspected closer.) The vanilla man-o-war would fit as a 17th century 80+-gun three-decker and the vanilla ship-of-the-line as a 18th century 50-gun two-decker although it could also be used as a two-decker frigate. Yep, not that good to represent the most modern ships of the game. Maybe similar ships can be borrowed from CIV5, CIV6 or EU4?

    (mostly already answered above) More realism re the naval side of the game would be nice. IMHO it's an open question if promotions are a good measure to represent crew training, combat experience, naval tradition and building preferences. A good starting point would be revising cargo transport by giving ships cargo capacity and keeping the slots only for transporting colonists. Land transports would hugely benefit, too.

    Yep, would be nice if the support would be more substantial. The ships mustn't be a gift but be merely player-controlled...?
     
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  17. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    These are just made-up placeholders for a specific role that should be covered by these ships.

    To spice up the naval side of WTP it seems very attractive for me to introduce a progression of naval shipbuilding which is driven by inventions, sailing experiences (think about the influence of readily available trade winds on English, Spanish or Portuguese galleon design) and war experiences. The already mentioned CivEffects might do wonders to differentiate otherwise similar units and thereby increasing the replay value.

    Keeping in mind how hunting was done in that time that seems to be no good comparision, nontheless an Expert Hunter can easily drop his profession and go back to school for re-training. Having OTOH 300 year old caravels fighting/evading the REF in the late 18th century is even less realistic. WTP has a highly sophisticated economy but all other (historical) aspects but be ignored? (no, I don't really want to mention these thinly disguised railroads)

    Housing-over was invented only later. Yes, some well maintained ships survived for long times but these ships were occasionally rebuild by replacing rotten timbers. You needed a highly developed naval infrastructure to achieve this. ATM I'm not sure if even one dry dock existed in the Americas during the WOI.
     
  18. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    the USS Alliance, using 18-pounders, already had more combined pounders than the most recent 36-gun royal navy frigates

    at 32-34 it also seems to me the continentals had some higher-pounders (total) than standard

    post-independence there's the USS constitution, a large frigate with the combined pounders higher than some third rates

    and sure, the game is USA-centric, but the independence period for the Americas lasted into 1820s, so a few decades post-USA independence are still relevant for extended gameplay

    Main problem was that treating wood for ships takes time and cannot be sped up, and the continentals did not have the treated wood needed nor the time, so they used green wood, thus the early rot.
    And yes, it had a combined ~1000 pounders vs the typical ~1500-~1800 pounders of standard 74s.

    As I see it the player shouldn't be blocked from producing any standard ships. The key is they're expensive as heck and that was a main reason the continentals built none (had 3 ordered and completed the one you mentioned, though subpar. Still built some within the <1820s timeframe though.), and that should be the same balancing factor keeping a player away from them. Cost. But if a player wants to buy an oversized canoe then he should be allowed to, for that's fun. My current balancing places a 1st rate at a in-game European cost of 47000, a 4th rate at a cost of 13500, and frigates between 5500 and 7800, with trade galleons being 8000 and war galleons 11000, and a heavy indiaman at 15000. The more expensive ships are also less cost-effective per firepower. Frigates are affordable, but if the player would rather have one 1st rate than 10 frigates then why not? It's a strategic choice. And being a megalomaniac can be fun, like placing all world wonders in the same city XD
     
  19. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    The first drydock in the US was taken into service 1834
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drydock_Number_One,_Norfolk_Naval_Shipyard

    However the US had the facilities to build more than frigates, as a shipyard existed that built 4 and 5thrate Ships of the Line
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_Naval_Shipyard
     
  20. Sarin

    Sarin King

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    On topic of ships. IMO player shouldn't be able to build/buy ships of the line and Man-o'Wars. Rather, the game should focus on smaller warships. Ship of the Line should be available to player only through event that currently gives the MoW, while MoW would be exclusive to REF and intervention forces. Heaviest colonial warship would be heavy frigate, representing the 18-24 pounder designs. REF should perhaps gain more types of ships-I'm thinking that most common one should be "Royal Galleon" or similar, which can only defend (but with strength at least equal to West Indiaman) and have most cargo space and speed equivalent to MoW, while MoW would be much rarer, and Ships of the Line would also be present in REF...and I wonder if they could be made to attack the player's navy right away, rather than carry troops.

    My idea about TT would be this: there would be two types of tech-keystones and improvements. Keystones are obtained by passage of time or specific actions, while improvements are "researched" pretty much in a classic way, you'd choose which one you want to research in every section and then get research points from related actions (production of specific yields, training specialists, fighting...). I think the appropriate would be six sections-exploration, civic, army, navy, agriculture and industry. The fun part would be that most, maybe every, improvement would be linked to more specific yield or action which would produce more research point for that specific tech.

    For example: keystone "New World Farming" would be obtained when you gain your first expert farmer, and will enable you to see and use some agricultural resources specific to America (corn, potatoes, maybe cocoa....) and gain farmers from Europe (would be disabled before). From there, you would be able to research "Potato Farming", "Corn Farming" "Cocoa Farming". Research points would be derived from your total agricultural production, with additional points being given when you gain an agricultural expert colonist, and maybe for some. If you are researching Corn farming, for example, the food production and expert farmers count double, with additional increase in colonies with educational building (say, 2.5x from food production in colonies with school, 3x with college, 3.5x with university, 4x with great university), while for Cocoa farming, it would be cocoa production, expert cocoa planters and driers. And research of any specific food farming would unlock "Advanced Storage Methods" tech, which would enable granary building.
    Gaining a basic native mercenary unit (which would be, in the beginning, only "mercenary brave", equal to the brave of the natives) would unlock keystone "Native mercenaries" which would allow you to give your converted natives the profession mercenary brave. From there, you could research "New World Warfare" which would unlock second tier of terrain promotions, and for that research, combat done by light infantry would count double, with some bonus from total educational buildings in colonies. Around the year 1600, you'd automatically get keystone "Flintlock Firearms", which would enable a bunch of new professions, including native mercenary, and with "New World Warfare", you could research "Rangers", which would allow you to give your veteran infantrymen this profession.

    And so on...
     
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