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Would you like a "blind research" option? (poll)

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Gronaz, Jan 23, 2019.

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Would you like a "blind research" option?

  1. Yes

    20 vote(s)
    64.5%
  2. No

    11 vote(s)
    35.5%
  1. Gronaz

    Gronaz Chieftain

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    Hi, I posted some ideas in the suggestion sub-forum, including a collective victory, civil resistance or ambushes, and the blind research would be one of the most easy to add for developers but also the most controversial (and so stay optional).
    If activated, the player (and AI) could not select anymore which tech and civic to research. At each turn, science and culture yields are randomly affected to one available tech/civic.
    Because in History, most inventions and creations were found by accident or serendipity. At first it could feel like a frustrating loss of control but the player would still have control on amount of science and culture generated and could aim to desired innovations with unlocking eurekas and inspirations. And so, getting desired tech would be a lot more rewarding, and it would prevent AI or players to beeline some modern units in medieval era. It would also make games harder and longer, but fairly for everyone.
     
    VermelhoRed and altayrneto like this.
  2. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    shouldn't the poll be blind as well? :)

    I would say in the modern era many inventions are purposeful. Nuclear theory and atomic weapons being the biggest example. We knew exactly what to pour our research into, and it paid off. On the other hand, inventions still do happen out of chance, like kevlar for example.

    I would be fine with the first half of the tech tree being blind, but not the 2nd half after modern era.
     
    Aussie_Lurker and Ondolindë like this.
  3. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    Looking at GS which introduces some kind of randomness or blindness to the Future Era, it seems like the devs are going the opposite way :)

    I would say that the main "reason" that something is discovered or invented in a specific time is not if it is on purpose or by luck. These just affect how quickly that might happen. The main reason is simply feasibility or possibility (not sure which word is better here, not native speaker) of inventing things. In other words, in Medieval era, it was not possible to invent atom bomb, etc. No matter how many resources you put there, no matter how many lucky scientists are there. Not possible (unless aliens intervened :D) Science is built progressively on previous developments, like a pyramid, from bottom to top. This is actually represented in Civ by a Tech Tree - you cannot invent atomic bomb without all other (pre)required techs.

    And now to the actual problem - tech tree is Civ6 is full of omissions and gaps (loosely coupled), allowing for crazy beelining, that wouldn't be (and wasn't) possible in RL. Easy fix, just more connections are needed.

    Once you fix that, you will notice that eventually you will end up with 3-5 choices for "researchable" techs at any given time. I don't think that making a change to use random (blind) allocation of yields would be a positive gameplay change. Idea is nice because it would resemble more RL, probably quite easy to implement (in DLL, ofc). But me personally, I would still keep that bit of decision making when choosing a tech.
     
  4. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    As a faithful fan of alpha centauri, I would suggest to select broad directions. In SMAC these were weapons, infrastructure, pure knowledge, exploration.
     
    Ezumiyr, AmazonQueen, MrRadar and 3 others like this.
  5. Gronaz

    Gronaz Chieftain

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    I admit that this idea is more for gameplay than for roleplay.
    This would add another layer of randomness to deal with, and I would be surprised if Civ players would not like randomness. I feel that one of the pleasures of playing Civ games is being confronted to wild environment and random events but managing to control them. The feeling of overcoming chaos through order! :)
     
  6. ViterboKnight

    ViterboKnight King

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    In Civilization, tech choose is either a strategic decision (each player follows his own strategy and therefore creates his optimal tech path) or a no-brainer (in case of specific tech paths that are far more powerful or effective than any other one).
    In both cases, I'd say that blind research would nullify the main reasons above, at least for a default rule.
    It might be an interesting game option (like the "one-city-challenge", something that simply add an extra layer of challenge).
     
  7. altayrneto

    altayrneto Prince

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    I would add to this also the blind research based on the Civ’s geography (coastal civs would research faster naval advancements and civs with lots of mountains would research mining technologies faster, even when they are patronizing the researches of other kinds of technologies. The blind research system could also make a specific world changer technology appear earlier or later: the gunpowder.
     
    Disgustipated likes this.
  8. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    If it was available as an option, I would almost always play it. It basically evens things out between the player and the AI, as the AI is essentially researching at random.

    It should never be the default as it eliminates what should be an important strategic game decision. As things stand now, though, being able to make that decision is such a huge advantage for the player, I'd be happy to forego it.
     
    Arent11 likes this.
  9. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    It certainly is not.
    There is a normal scoring done, choosing the best option at a given moment.
    E.g. AI prioritizes boosted techs (via eureka) because it actually knows how to trigger eurekas. It tries to beeline techs. But most of the scoring comes from items unlocked by a given tech - units, buildings, etc. Districts are highly valued and i.e. that is the main reason why many civs go for Astrology at the begining. Etc.
    Same thing is with civics ofc, where policies unlocked are scored.
     
  10. awesome

    awesome Meme Lord

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    Eurekas and Inspirations would have to be stronger, but it would work as an option.
     
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  11. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    Agreed. This was what eureka were supposed to accomplish, but failed to do so in my opinion. Coastal civs should get boosts towards naval techs. It would really help civs like Norway and England.
     
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  12. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Oh, I wasn't trying to say that there wasn't a prioritization scheme built into the AI's choices.

    What I was suggesting was that the AI can't deviate from these rules to adjust for what's most appropriate in it's current situation. As a result, the choices are effectively random relative to the overall strategy that the AI should be pursuing, whereas the player's choices are made in support of their current strategy and needs.
     
  13. VermelhoRed

    VermelhoRed Prince

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    One format I thought it would be cool for future civ games was if your science gains went to all tech that are available to research, but you could get multiple eureka boosts through your actions. That way instead of easily picking the path you want to beeline, you had to work for it.

    Edit: so the more cities you found on the coast, the faster you get sailing for example. The more pastures you get the faster you'd get horseback riding, etc.
     
  14. pgm123

    pgm123 Emperor

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    Only if they completely overhaul the research system. I could see a system where you research your environment to discover new technologies and then research things you already know (or someone you've met knows) to improve them or get new techs. It would require an actual understanding of how technologies relate to each other, though. You couldn't have bronze working without kilns, which is a pottery technology.

    On a side note: in Civ VI, bronze working is just wrong. It comes too late. It has no connection to masonry or irrigation, which is fine on its own, but the civ tech tree is Eurocentric where bronze working does have a connection to those two. And its boost is killing barbarians. The name should be related to armor. That's what it represents. It doesn't even have to be bronze armor, which would be a nice touch to make the game less dependent on a specific view of history. You could have Inca spearmen using cotton armor (pretty sturdy), Creek using woven wood armor (I assume good, but I don't know), various peoples using leather armor. (Also spearmen should get a resistance to ranged units, but now I'm going looney)
     
  15. Gronaz

    Gronaz Chieftain

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    I agree. The idea is not to deprive player from strategic choice, but more: "If you really want a tech or civic, you don't only have to decide to but you have to work for it (unlocking eurekas)." It could be balanced with higher tech costs but bigger eureka boosts (75% for example). Or multiple eurekas seems right too.
     
  16. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    In vanilla - yes to some extent - but only because there is no real "strategy goal" implemented. But this is not the fault of the tech scoring etc. In other words: there is a difference in saying "I don't know what my strategy is, so my choices change all over the place" and "I don't know how or what to choose to support my strategy". Currently (unmodded) Civ AI falls into the first category.
     
  17. Ezumiyr

    Ezumiyr Chieftain

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    That's not true when it comes to fundamental research though - nuclear theory evolved for a very long time before it became the subject of a deliberate effort. And in a similar way, in ancient times, the "random" discoveries happened, but then there was almost always a very deliberate wish to expand on those discoveries.
    This is because there's no difference in civ between fundamental research, applied research, and engineering/technology (and the equivalents depending on the era).

    Maybe we could have something like:
    1. Blind tech tree, points are randomly allowed by default
    2. Each time a tech reach 1/3 of the tech points, you can start focusing on it if you want. If you don't, tech points are still randomly allowed.
    3. That way, we could also keep Eurekas in the game. Eurekas would not only boost tech progress, but also allow you to focus on specific techs.
     
  18. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold King

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    The game is intended to give you a sense of progression and the tech tree levelling system perfectly accomplishes that. We already get a reasonable bit of randomness from Eurekas; enough to illustrate happy accidents without destroying player agency.

    So no I think this is a thoroughly unnecessary change. Might be a fun mod to add chaos, but as far as the base game goes I think there is enough randomness as it is. No one wants to play a twenty hour game of dice rolling.
     
  19. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    A completely 'blind' system makes a major factor in the game Random. In a competitive game, this is Not A Good Thing.

    On the other hand, the ability to 'choose' exactly what to research and develop at all stages of the game is almost completely unrealistic, and results in a Human Advantage over the AI that is unavoidable (at the current level of programming) without programmed Cheating.

    One ides is to separate 'Pure" research (or "stumbling across a new idea") from Applied Research - turning a New Idea into Something We Need Right Now.
    In other words, have a basic 'Tech Tree' (or Tech Bush, because there should be alternate paths between a lot of the techs) and then under each Pure Research Tech there would be a number of Applications which would give you access to specific Units, Upgrades, Buildings, etc.

    Bonuses would all reflect things like Need, Non-Technical Prerequistes, and Need to Improve What We Are Doing Now.
    Each Tech would have, then, up to 3 'Eurekas'. They could be obtained in any order, and the first would give, say, a 10% boost, second 15%, third 20% - get all three, and your research would be boosted by 45%, but you'd have to work much harder and specialize more to get all three than you have to do to get one 40% boost now in Civ VI.

    For example:
    Animal Husbandry
    Bonuses/Eurekas:
    Have 2 resources within a city radius that are Improvable with a Pasture (suitable Husbandry Subjects)
    Engage in Combat with an enemy Chariot, Horseman, Horse Archer, or War Cart (Need to match the enemy)
    Have a Farm (Need for Draft Animals)
    NOTE that Animal Husbandry would also be a possible Starting Tech, since most of the 'domestic animals', including the horse as a draft or plow animal, were domesticated or at least semi-domesticated long before the game starts in 4000 BCE.
    Applications:
    Domestication
    Can Build Pastures
    Provides Eureka for: Wheel
    Bone-Horn Crafts
    + 2 Combat Strength versus Ranged for Warrior Units (non-metallic armor)
    Provides Eureka for: Archery
    Selective Animal Breeding
    Reduces Production Cost of Mounted by 20%
    Provides Eureka for: Horsemanship

    Obviously, building a workable Tech Tree with all the bonuses/eurekas and Aplications is a Huge Job, but I think the result would give a much richer game and require a lot more Focus on the part of the player to get rthe Tech that is both needed immediately and positions the Civ for the future.
     
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