Hello everyone, New AND team member here. I've been looking at RAND from behind the scenes for almost a couple months now, and one of the first places that I want to discuss making some changes is to the Tech Tree. I think that overall, the Tech Tree is very good, but it could use some revisions to fix a few problems that I have run across. None of what I am suggesting is on the SVN yet, and I don't want to actually change any part of the code until a new full beta version of AND is released. I want to give these changes, even though I think they are not incredibly complex, a good length of time to see if there are any problems that I missed or any other revisions to make. I want to get the discussion going first, and then sit down to do the code. You may see me talk about "levels" in this thread. This is my system for figuring out how difficult it is to get to a technology in actual game play. For example, all of the technologies with no prerequisites are Ancient Level 1 (I abbreviate as Ancient-1). Any tech that only requires Ancient Level 1 prerequisites is Ancient-2, and so on. Then, Classical-1 is any technology that only requires Ancient Era prerequisites and has Advances to the Classical Era, and it just goes on from there. Here are the principles that I'm using to revise the tree. No redundancies in prerequisites. Several technologies have prerequisites that are redundant in game play. For example, Currency used to require Mathematics AND Metal Casting AND Writing. But if you have Mathematics, you have to have Writing, so why list Writing at all? I pointed this out and it was fixed. There are several more places on the tree where this needs to be changed. No skippable techs. If you click on Future Tech, it should select every other tech in the tree. You can't leave anything behind. The only exception would be if we break the religions off into their own technologies. Those can possibly lead to other religions or be dead-ends, but no other tech is a dead-end in this way. Historical accuracy. I have noticed that some Renaissance-era and later technologies show up much earlier than they should relative to the years that the era covers. For example, Physics is available at the very beginning of the Renaissance Era, but if it is supposed to be Newtonian physics, then it's too early, as the Renaissance begins in the 1400's and Newton does not publish until 1687. Something needs to be modified. I also have this problem with Electricity during the Industrial Era. I don't think it should come so closely after Steam Power. Also, some technologies are in the wrong era. For example, Photography and Realism are not Renaissance Era -- they are Industrial. Avoiding era backdoors. Some technologies have prerequisites that are currently too easy to meet early in the previous era, allowing you to get to a new era too quickly. Monarchy and Theology have this problem. I have some reworks of the prerequisites that would solve this. I've played a few games on Noble difficulty/Normal speed, and I find that someone (either me or another nearby civ) is researching Monarchy and starting the Classical Era before 3000 BC. I think that's too early. Add a few new techs. I have 14 techs that I would like to add (that's averaging 2 techs per era), and I have definite ideas for what to add. None of these are going to be empty. I don't like empty techs, and I don't like overly specific ones without a really good reason. I think I've found concepts that are broad enough to support adding a new technology to the tree. New techs will get their own posts so they can be discussed individually. Remapping. I've used my level scheme to create a new map of the tree. I don't think techs of different levels or even eras should share the same column. This would make looking at the tree more meaningful, in that you would know how difficult it really is to get to a particular tech. Even out costing. Some technologies have costs that are out of line with their era. For example, Biology, despite having been moved from the Industrial Era to the Renaissance, still costs 4680, which is much more expensive than other Renaissance Era techs. My goal here is to rearrange the costs of individual technologies while keeping the total cost of all the techs in the era the same, so it should take you the same number of turns to play through the era. I think uneven costing makes any 1 Free Technology ability unbalanced, because it rewards you much more for choosing an unnecessarily expensive tech. iAsset adjusting. iAsset is an XML tag that covers how many points you get on the scoreboard for researching the particular tech, although I'm sure there are a lot of modifiers involved. Generally, iAsset for a given tech is 8/era (so Ancient is 8, Classical is 16, etc.), but techs that have been changed in era did not have their iAsset modified. and some are really weird. For example, Derivatives has an iAsset of 120. That's almost twice as much as Future Tech. At the end of this, I want to go through and make sure that all technologies have the proper iAsset value for their era. So the next post will cover the beginnings of the Ancient Era.