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Tech tree for a mod

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by oddtail, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    So. I've a little (and by "little", I mean "unbelievably huge and I'm unlikely to ever finish it") project and I've been a little too shy to share it to ask for input; mostly because it's pretty much all conceptual work, as some ideas for the mod only make it viable as a multiplayer mod. I still hope that MP modding will be an option someday, but so far, the whole idea is just present on paper. It doesn't help that some ideas can probably only be implemented using lua and the last time I had anything to do with programming of any sort was when I was in High School...

    ...but anyway.

    The idea is pretty detailed actually, as I have a pretty clear idea how to substantially change pretty much every aspect of the game, from the way strategic resources are handled to the importance of science production to the way cities grow. In theory, I have everything thought out enough to create a simple early version. And with BNW giving me some more tools to play with, I decided to at least give it a try - even if I have to stick to single player (for now... hopefully). If my free time and abilities permit, I decided to start modding, step by step. And, I have to start somewhere.

    Part of the project is a new tech tree. It is somewhat connected to some ideas I have for gameplay elements, but ssentially - I am planning the mod on an era-by-era basis, and the various bonuses can actually be easily redistributed among techs. I want a complete tech tree to have a framework to start with and add to, even if the first versions of the mod will probably be constrained to the first two-three eras.

    What I want is:

    1) a fairly detailed tree. My mod idea requires a lot of techs. Essentially, many techs will give passive bonuses, making the game a lot more "mix and match" than based upon steady growth in all areas.
    2) making the tree as logical as I can. It's fine that some tech progression in unmodded Civ 5 is a big stretch or even quite silly for gameplay reasons (Wheel requiring Archery, Printing Press requiring Chivalry...), but I want to avoid that at all cost. This is actually one of my major concerns, and why I decided to share and ask for feedback!
    3) few "chokepoints" in the tree. I don't want beelining to be TOO easy, but I want various parts of the to be fairly independent of each other, making it possible to go several tiers deep in one part of the tree without filling everything in.
    4) simple and easy layout. I don't want tech paths to cross, overlap or otherwise be visually unclear. I really liked how logical the tech tree was in Civ 4 (although I consider Civ 5 to be a superior game) and it was one of my inspirations, but I don't want to include tech prerequisites from across the tech tree like Civ 4 did. Also, although it might be neat in some cases, I decided against introducing "either/or" prerequisites, the way e.g. Civilization Nights does.
    5) some concepts are back as techs again from e.g. Civ 4. This is because government- or social structure-themed social policies will have tech prerequisites in my mod.

    After a LOT of work and tweaking - there were times when I thought I'd made a pretty logical tech tree, only to realise things like "Steel doesn't require Fire" or some other silliness - I finally have something fairly satisfying. However, after doing and redoing the same thing over and over again I am probably missing some things. So I thought I'd provide a link to the tech tree. If any of y'all can spot something illogical, suggest an improvement, a way to rename a tech to make it fit better (when the original test has no business being there, being clumsily named or too narrow in scope), a tech that is missing and makes things look incomplete, a tech that could be reached too easily or without some obvious prerequisite (like the "Steel without Fire" I mentioned), or just about anything that could be changed or expanded upon (as long as it doesn't require starting from scratch - it really *is* tricky to make everything mesh together!), I would be happy to hear your feedback. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to look!

    Here's the link to the tree:


    There are a few issues I am aware of, in no particular order:

    1) Some techs that I either think should be there or I need for gameplay reasons are still missing (this is a work in progress, after all). They include Alphabet, Paper, among others. I'm sure I'm missing some others, too.
    2) Some tech names are pretty much placeholders until I can figure out a better name, notably things like Advanced Weaponry.
    3) The part of the tree including Masonry and Monument Building is not only separate from Construction/Engineering/Architecture part, but on the opposite end of the tree. I didn't find a way around that in the design I'm using. It doesn't bother me TOO much (it's likely the techs from one end of the tree will give bonuses to the buildings allowed by the other etc.), but I'm considering renaming some techs, if I can figure out a way how.
    4) Same goes for Trench Warfare being far, far away from Gunpowder, Rifling and the technology that will essentially give access to machine guns. I am still on the fence on how illogical that is and whether it should be changed. Dropping Trench Warfare and what follows from it, or moving it to the top of the tree, is actually still doable, so I might do that.
    5) Steel is VERY easily beelined. I am not sure if I want to keep it that way. If I have to, I will probably add another tech that is a prerequisite for Steel, and in turn has Metal Casting and Iron Working as prerequisites - that should be enough.
    6) I am not happy with the Guilds-Gunpowder-Alchemy progression. I want to keep Alchemy (as a proto-chemistry, it WAS a major stepping stone towards scientific knowledge of today, especially in Arabic countries), but I originally envisioned it as leading to both Gunpowder and Chemistry (together with Scientific Method), independently. Currently I have trouble fitting that into the tree without crossing any branches, however.
    7) Medicine requires Physics, for some reason... I need to change that (I'm considering swapping Machinery and Physics in the tree, and dropping Physics as a prerequisite to Medicine), but I still have some problems designing things so that they work. And I do want to keep Scientific Theory as a prereq to Physics.
    8) Industrial and Modern eras are a very rough first draft. I will be happy to move around pretty much all techs within them, so unlike say, Ancient Era, I'll be happy with even suggestions of very drastic changes. As long as the tree remains coherent, it's all good.

    I don't know if anyone's going to read my wall-of-text post, much less comment on the tree... but here's hoping some people do =).
  2. ninjon_pie

    ninjon_pie Chieftain

    Dec 4, 2013
    This looks incredible! i would, however, like to know what each tech does. would you mind saying?
  3. PrimoXanthous

    PrimoXanthous ~ knightmare13 ~

    Feb 19, 2012
    Sa Puso mo
    What about the Atomic Era on the original game?
  4. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    @knightmare13: yeah, does that need a LOT of fleshing out. Everything past Colonial Era is actually a placeholder - so that the tech tree doesn't abruptly end into nothingness, and I have something I will be able to build upon, later. It's pretty much all changeable, now. If/when I get around to creating the mod, it will initially just go up to Classical Era, anyway... at least until it sort-of works, then I will tackle the next eras, one by one. So, Atomic Era is not high on my priority list.

    @ninjon_pie: I have a pretty good idea about what most techs do (although more specifics only for the first two-three eras - I plan to flesh out the later eras only after the earlier ones are semi-balanced), but it'd be tricky to explain, one by one, what each and every tech does. This is mostly because the techs, as I envision it, will each give a large number of effects, from unlocking new buildings/units (obviously), to giving bonuses to existing ones.

    To give you a general idea, though, here's the summary of the first eras. Do let me know if you want me to elaborate on something:

    1) PALEOLITHIC/NEOLITHIC: the basic idea would be that what is usually easily accessible in the unmodded game (Palace that provides Science etc., tiles with 2+ yield, mostly visible resources, basic units) would be unlocked by these techs. You'd start with low production, no culture, very low Science output, no resources visible, and no means to defend yourself. The yields would be so low that the first city would barely break even food-wise. The techs, however, would be extremely cheap, and the very early game would basically boil down to choosing what to unlock first:

    - Paleolithic techs would show pretty much all resources on the map that are normally visible from the start. The main techs here would be Hunting (showing Cattle, Sheep, Deer, perhaps Horses), Foraging (things like Wheat, Bananas etc.), Art (Gold, Silver, Copper, Marble and perhaps a bunch of others) and Clothing (Dyes, Cotton, Silk etc.). If I added more resources, they would also probably show up by the end of the Paleolithic / beginning of the Neolithic era.

    - Some of the techs would modify tile yields, either directly (for example, Fire giving a Production bonus to forests), or indirectly (giving access to improvements like Farms, Quarries and Mines).

    - The first buildings would be unlocked in the Neolithic era (such as Granary and Walls with Masonry).

    - Workers and the first military unit would unlock at Stone Tools, Settlers at Shelter. Scouts would be made available through Hunting. An early, weak naval unit (probably called Raft) would be made accessible at Fishing.

    - As starting Culture would be at 0, techs that give access to Culture would be a big deal. Basically, Art would give access to the first Wonder in the game - making it valuable due to early access to some Culture. Otherwise, culture buildings would not be accessible until Ancient Era. This would make Pantheons more valuable, since I currently see them as mostly unchanged (which would make pretty much any Pantheon very useful if you manage to get it - certainly cheaper and easier than a bunch of techs).

    - Speaking of Pantheons, Worship would probably give the first Wonder generating Faith, and Ceremonial Burial - the first actual Faith building.

    - Oral Tradition would actually give Palace the first bonuses. By default, the Palace would not give much of a benefit before researching this particular tech.

    2) Ancient Era would be the moment where the civilization takes off. Most early building would only be accessible around here, as well as many early-game Wonders. The catch is, most buildings would have very high maintenance costs and require certain resources (the idea being to change all the Bonus Resources in the game to be Strategic Resources, and adding at least a few more). As a result, buildings would give large bonuses, but be difficult to maintain. On the other hand, Ancient Era techs would give access to first strong military units, would make it possible to settle more cities, and to increase the yields the player thinks the most important for their strategy. Basically, the strength of the buildings would be about on par with those in the unmodded game, but actually getting the buildings *or* growing city population would be very tricky and/or depend on Policy choice (and policies would be an area of the game that I would very much overhaul).

    3) Classical Era would be the moment where population grows somewhat (being essentially the era where Happiness buildings appear), making it possible to use more Specialists in cities. Also, most interactions with other players such as trade, Research Agreement and the like would be unlocked via various techs. Espionage would also be moved back to this era from Renaissance.

    - notable changes: Espionage would give access to an additional Spy (probably via a National Wonder), Bronze Working would unlock Iron, most religious buildings (which would no longer be buyable via Faith, and would just be regular buildings) would appear around this time, and - like with Ancient Era - a lot of Wonders would be available.

    - Certain Cultural Policies would have tech requirements, and Classical Era is about the time where those would become a factor. This is the major reason behind the technologies such as Bureaucracy and Aesthetics.

    4) Medieval Era would have two major shifts happening - firstly, it would be the era of bonuses. Most things that are fairly easy in unmodded Civ 5 would be very difficult - buying buildings would be prohibitively expensive, maintenenace costs of buildings and armies high, etc. Medieval Era would bump up the amount of money available, making it less of a chore to have a city with multiple buildings.

    - The second major change is that many Medieval techs would give bonuses to existing units, buildings and improvements (for example Architecture, in addition to other bonuses, would give a production bonus to constructing buildings, and Engineering would make for faster building of Worker improvements). This includes specialists, who would receive various bonuses thanks to the Citizenship, Guilds and Patronage techs.

    As I said, going one-by-one through every tech and every possible bonus/unlock I currently plan for it would take quite a while. If there is more interest, I will try and lay out the specifics better, but I haven't had much time to work on my mod idea. That pesky "real life" thing keeps getting in the way.

    Hope I was helpful, and do let me know if you have any specific questions =)
  5. otaman1

    otaman1 Prince

    Mar 14, 2013
    You need Hunters & Gatherers. They were a big part of human history.
  6. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    Could you please elaborate? If you mean that I need techs that reflect that part of civilization progress, I think the techs "Hunting" and "Foraging" pretty much cover it.

    If you mean I need units or game mechanics that reflect hunting and gathering... yeah, I thought about it, and I think I actually saw a pretty good Stone Age mod once that did it well. But some of the concepts of the mod I envision are tricky to implement as it is, so I don't want to add one more thing to complicate matters.

    If what you meant is different than that, please do explain =)
  7. otaman1

    otaman1 Prince

    Mar 14, 2013
    This is what I meant. Just adding ideas here. No worries.

    Bronze and Iron Working should be in the Ancient era. Unless, that is, you're not making this realistic.
  8. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    I actually disagree. Yes, for Bronze Working that's technically true, but early metalworking - for my purposes - falls under "Smelting". In my tech tree, BW represents more advanced techniques for forging weapons and tools. Since this represents a rather big technological and cultural shift, I decided - somewhat unrealistically - to make it a transitional tech into the Classical era. I realise the tech is a bit of a misnomer, and I do consider changing "Smelting" to "Bronze Working", and "Bronze Working" to something else. But I currently have no good idea for a rename of "Bronze Working". I'm open to suggestions, though.

    As for Iron Working - the fact is, forging of iron from (metallic) iron sources is an old practice. Iron Working, for my purposes, represents not so much the existence of iron weapons, but the ability and technology to forge iron from ores. The Iron Age in Europe (which I'm using for my approximation) spread from around 11th century BC over the next 500 years or so. The Classical antiquity began at around 8th-7th century BC and lasted until 3rd-5th century AD. To me that's a pretty clear overlap, and moreover, given that the widespread transition to iron throughout Europe (and elsewhere) was a significant shift, with impact on the scale of the cultural changes in the Classical period, means Iron Working is well justified to be in the Classical era. Not to mention, the real explosion of technological innovation resulting from this extended as far as early Middle Ages. So, I feel Iron Working belongs equally well in late Ancient Era and early Classical Era, but its significance makes it, *at least*, a good tech to transition into a new era.

    So yes, thank you for pointing out the problem with tech order, but I do not feel my choice is entirely unrealistic/non-justified. But, you are (obviously) right that it could be improved.

    The easiest approach would be to extend Ancient Era one more column to the right (so that Arithmetics, Cartography, Diplomacy, Bureaucracy etc. would be late Ancient techs). This would, sort of, work and be realistic. In fact, that was my original design - but I really do not like a three-column Era followed by a one-column Era. Plus, some of the techs that open Classical Era represent rather drastic shifts in technology or new ideas. If you look at the whole tree, that's what I try to do for most techs - put the most important, iconic and world-shaking developments at the start of eras.

    So, that's no good. A better idea, I think, would be to rearrange techs so that Iron Working is at the *start* of Classical, rather than at the end of it. I could probably change Smelting to Bronze Working, Bronze Working to Iron Working, so that the new era would be opened with IW, and everything would work pretty much OK, but I am really fond of the arrangement where you can have Currency without the more advanced (for the time) metalworking techs. Same for Glass, which would be an optional, and relatively cheap, tech to quickly enter Classical Era (its main planned benefit being the addition of a new resource that can be traded - or used as a prerequisite for some advanced buildings and perhaps even Wonders).

    So while I don't fully disagree with you, I don't have a very good concept of how to rearrange techs so that Iron Working is a bit earlier in the tree. And, well, without rewriting the REST of the tree from scratch.

    I am, of course, open to suggestions =)

    EDIT: oh, and by the way - the lower part of the Tech Tree in Ancient Era is, as you no doubt noticed, pretty empty. This is because I obviously need every tech from the lower part of the tree to somehow come from the tech "Fire". So I'm certainly open to adding more techs or shifting them to Ancient Era, but they need to have Fire as a prerequisite, and I certainly don't want the tech tree branches to become impossibly tangled.
  9. pvtjava

    pvtjava The Grey Cat

    May 26, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Hi, came over after reading the Printing Press thread. I really like the concept of pre early tech to gain tile yield. I don't really have much advice on your tree, but it did make me think about time progression. I do not think Civ does a good job of simulating era length. Each new era should feel shorter than the previous one. Civ games give you the opposite feeling because of the way turn/time is structured. I have an idea about this. You could push more simple techs backwards to lengthen previous eras and shorten later ones, letting the early techs be more specific and providing maybe only one unit/building/bonus each, while the later techs could be more general, providing more units/buildings/bonuses into each later era. This could possibly be combined with a less fluctuating years per turn system. Do you have any thoughts on this?
  10. TheGrumpyBuddha

    TheGrumpyBuddha King

    Aug 8, 2013
    Each era being the same length is a feature, not a bug IMO. One of the few things I did not like about SMAC was that the late game went by so fast you didn't get a chance to enjoy the funky techs. Same might well be the problem with your suggestion.
  11. pvtjava

    pvtjava The Grey Cat

    May 26, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    Yeah, that's true. It would require massive scaling to allow research/builds to reflect the compressed time frame. An idea could be that buildings inside cities make things so that multiple things could be built at once in one city (and all in one turn).
  12. Taberizzo

    Taberizzo Chieftain

    Nov 10, 2013
    how close till a demo/beta?
  13. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    Good question... unfortunately, I had (as should be clear from the time passed since the initial post) to put this on hold, mostly due to hardware issues with my computer. I hope to pick this up again in about six weeks (when I will be buying a new computer, actually - or at least, that's the plan). I have, however, no idea how long it will take to create even an early version of the project I have in mind. Probably a few more weeks still.

    But! If anyone wants to "steal" the shape of the tech tree and use it in their own mod in some capacity - by all means, be my guest =) heck, if someone wants to code the ideas I already have laid out on paper (for... some reason), please contact me via PM. In addition to not being able to test my mod right now, my coding skills are next to nonexistent, so if anyone has the patience to put my ideas/design to use, it'd be pretty cool.

    Barring that unlikely possibility, however - yeah, my idea for a mod is on the horizon, but not anywhere NEAR completion.
  14. Kraken98

    Kraken98 Chieftain

    Feb 23, 2014
    Hi, oddtail, I stumbled across your thread and found it quite impressive. I did find that some of the connections were somewhat confusing to me, though. Here's the list. FYI: I often have trouble grasping concepts and reasons, so I'll probably knock off half (or more!) of these off the list once I hear your explanation. Good luck on your project!

    Language --> Fire, Stone Tools, Shelter(ish), Foraging(ish). (I don't understand how language was a necessity for any of these.
    Shelter --> Art(ish). (Are you talking about cave paintings? How do you explain other art?)
    Pottery --> Writing. (Shards of pottery used for writing? Writing has been used on just plain-old clay, though.)
    Monument Building --> Smelting. (I'm not sure of the connection.)
    Drama, Philosophy --> Aesthetics. (I'm not sure of the connection, nor of the following technology.)
    Stone Tools, Foraging --> Animal Husbandry. (Same as Smelting)
    Foraging, Hunting + nothing to Clothing. (Wouldn't you need some tools?)
    Wheel, Animal Husbandry --> Farming. (Farming has happened before either of these, right?)
    Plowing --> Geometry. (Same as Smelting)
    Simple Machines --> Arithmetic. (Same as the Aesthetics conundrum.)
    Arithmetic --> Natural History. (Same as the Aesthetics conundrum.)
    Natural History --> Optics. (I'm not sure of the connection.)
    Construction --> Guilds. (I'm not sure of the connection.)
    Guilds --> Gunpowder. (I'm not sure of the connection.)
    Optics, Acoustics --> Machinery. (I'm not sure of the connection.)
    Biology, Urbanization --> Psychiatry. (Is this so you can have Psych to lead to Neurology? It makes sense to me if that's why.)
    Railroad --> Trench Warfare. (How was the Railroad necessary to wage warfare in the trenches? I'll concede, however, that it greatly facilitated the endeavor.)

    Masonry before Mining? (Maybe I'm not thinking straight.)
    Clothing before Weaving. (I kinda feel you need weaving to make proper clothing, rather than just a fur cloak.)
    Gunpowder before Alchemy and Chemistry. (Shouldn't Gunpowder require Chemistry?)

    I love how you came up with Ceremonial Burial and Mining to Monument Building, that was genius! I wish that I had thought of that!
    Telegraph & Telephone NOT --> Mass Media? (Shouldn't T&T be a prerequisite for Mass Media?)

    What's Free Information? (I'm afraid that I'm simply not understanding the concept.)

    I'm sure that a lot of these connections I'm simply not understanding the underlying connection, would you be willing to explain them to me?
  15. oddtail

    oddtail Warlord

    Sep 23, 2010
    I took Language as the first technology to kick off civilization as such. I'd argue that the exchange of ideas is necessary for anything resembling technology. As such, Language is the starting point, just like Agriculture is in unmodded Civ5. Fire, Stone Tools, Shelter, Foraging do not so much result from Language as they are the basic technologies, but Civ5's engine requires a single starting technology for the tree.

    One of the first preserved art forms were cave paintings, so your assumption is correct. And it had to result from SOMEthing. I think art, as in permanent works of art that persist in physical form, would flourish after the transition from nomadic lifestyles, as it would be easier to keep the creations and not discard them when moving.

    As for other art - it's covered by some other techs, AND the "art" concept has to start from somewhere.

    The easiest, oldest way to preserve writing that I'm aware of was a clay tablets, and that is close enough to the development of pottery to form a connection.

    This is, admittedly, mostly so that the techs can fit in the tree somewhere. No strict connection here.

    The study of art from a theoretical standpoint resulted from the development of philosophy, and Drama is both an art form AND close enough on the tree physically.

    This is another slightly more abstract connetion for the sake of a tech tree that's not too disjointed. However, the development of more sophisticated tools was probably needed to keep animals beyond just hunting them. Foraging follows a similar reasoning - when thinking of foraging vs hunting, I thought it was the former (due to a different lifestyle and sources of food) that would lead to domestication faster. Plus, I didn't want Hunting -> Animal Husbandry for possible gameplay reasons - I didn't want all animal-based resources to be dependent on only one branch of the tree. I wanted the player to have a choice.

    I assumed that simple tools would not need their own tech. Hunting implies the use of bone tools etc., which would be enough for clothing made from animal hides, and the earliest surviving sewing needles were made of bone, to my knowledge.

    Simple harvesting of grains and so on is what falls (probably with some possible renaming) under "foraging". Farming in this tech tree represents more complex agriculture. It should probably be "Plowing" instead, but I do not have a name for a good follow-up technology for that. I considered doing "Plowing->Farming" instead of "Farming->Plowing", and for simplicity's sake, I connected the use of the plow with the domestication of animals.

    This is for two reasons. Firstly, the development of the plow and, by extension, other simple farming tools probably preceded the development of early mathematics. Secondly and more importantly, geometry was originally devised due to the need to measure land areas - this is the original meaning of the word, "the measuring of Earth". And this, to my mind, probably resulted from the need to establish land ownership and boundaries, which became much more important after a shift to an agricultural society.

    Simple machines are one of the cornerstones or very early physics, and the understanding of physical phenomena and simple mathematics were very closely intertwined before the development of mathematics as a branch of knowledge in its own right.

    Same as above. Natural history was basically the forerunner to many more modern branches of science. Originally the term covered everything from medicine to biology to rudimentary physics/astronomy. I opted for this name instead of a generic "science", and many of such early developments in experimental and observational research would not be possible without even the simplest mathematics.

    The development of optics from early astronomy, plus what I wrote above, should just about cover it.

    One of the earliest organised groups of workers were masons and other specialised, highly skilled craftsmen. The most famous such groups were builders and masons (hence the much later development of Freemasonry), and I went with "iconic" as well as realistic here. Plus, I needed to fuse two branches of the tech tree together, otherwise some later techs would lack crucial requirements.

    The development of early chemistry lead to some large leaps in technology, including distillation processes, the discovery of porcelain and, yes, gunpowder. "Guilds" is the extension of what I'd use in the tech tree to make specialist citizens stronger in game terms, so it reflects skilled and knowledgeable citizens rather well.

    Optics and acoustics were among the first and best-understood branches of earlier physics, and without the knowledge developed due to the study of light and sound, the physical processes needed for constructing more complex machines would not have been understood well enough.

    Psychiatry and psychology are an extension of the knowledge of the natural world, including animals. As for Urbanization, I made the connection, because the shift to urban-based populations offered both the possibility and the necessity to study social dynamics and how they change, especially in big groups (i.e. cities).

    Before the development of rapid transport, a large part of warfare was the marching of armies, the logistics, the supply lines etc. When the marching of armies ceased to be the most important factor in prolonged wars, wars were no longer resolved in relatively few key battles, and this led to the development of stretched battle fronts. Hence the trench warfare.

    I never liked the Mining->Masonry progression. Mining as in, "the digging of minerals and metals from below the earth's surface" required some basic construction technology and tools. The building of walls is much older than that, it was possible (and done) just by collecting stones and stacking them to form walls.

    Clothing, understood as covering oneself to protect oneself from the cold and the elements, is much older than weaved cloth. There are still people living around the world who wear animal hides, tanned or raw, and do not use weaved clothes of any kind.

    I understand Chemistry as modern chemistry, circa early Renaissance (or even later). Gunpowder was discovered several centuries earlier than that. The high point of alchemy as a science (kind of a proto-chemistry) was around 8th, 9th century in the Islamic world, and alchemy was introduced to Europe around 11th century, and was still practiced in the Renaissance, even though it had been long discared in favour of more modern chemistry in the Middle East. Gunpowder was discovered around 9th century, so it COULD precede (and lead to) Alchemy depending on interpretation, and so I decided to make it earlier seeing as Alchemy can cover the time period up till the 15th century easily, and by that time, gunpowder was a well-established invention throughout much of the world, and advanced weapons such as cannons and even hand firearms had long been developed.

    Telegraph was not a means of mass communication, it was a way to relay messages across long distances. I didn't feel the necessity to connect the two.

    The development of the Internet, the information revolution that accompanied it, and the shift from information as controlled by big media (newspapers, television stations) to information that, in theory, anyone could share and broadcast. It's a matter of some contention how big a shift that was, but my personal belief is that the paradigm shift that started when the first nerdy college students started sharing information across the United States, and then the world, was a huge one. I feel it changed the world forever, and it warrants its own tech, especially in contrast to a time when the spread of information was tightly controlled across most of the world. Your mileage may vary.

    Also, I'm open to a different name for this tech, obviously.

    See also:


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