Author Topic: Brainstorming for slower technological progression  (Read 22338 times)

Offline Gifty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 01:58:44 am »
I'm still slightly skeptical about the retrofitting stuff; I don't think there's an airtight explanation as to why it's necessary. The psionics angle is smart, but half the gun-wielding aliens have no psionic ability. Mutons in particular are pretty explicitly handicapped in this area.

Gameplaywise, I also think a lot of this stuff would get unnecessarily convoluted, and hard to present clearly in-game. I still think the best way to go is to have it mirror laser research, but perhaps give each weapon a manufacturing restriction which must be unblocked by a separate tech. The resulting tree would look like this:

Plasma Theory

Plasma Pistol  → Clip  → Manufacture

Plasma Rifle  → Clip  → Manufacture

Heavy Plasma  → Clip  → Manufacture

etc.

Coupled with an increase in research time aross the board, this would extend plasma research while keeping it simple. The manufacture step makes you choose between mass-producing a smaller gun, or rushing to the next gun. This would work best if plasma weapons were made rarer by self-destructing when the user dies, as in the Firaxis game. This would make live captures necessary in order to get a functioning unit, and increase the importance of manufacturing your own, since there's less to be scavenged in the field. This is kind of getting into a whole other topic, though. :P
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 02:35:48 am by Gifty »

Offline OwenQ

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2013, 07:10:02 am »
I'm not a big fan of the retrofitting thing either - except as a way to introduce a distinct tier of power (or different class of weapons entirely), though the complexity might appeal to some. I do sort of like the idea of humans having to make do with a weaker version rather than outright capturing it. That would give the aliens some slim advantage, too, which they seem to need.

That's part of why I want to stick to messing with research and keeping it somewhat simple/streamlined; then folks can slap on whatever they like in a companion ruleset.

As an aside on the psionic fluff thing, I had a similar misgiving and then figured the reasoning that the mechanism was similar to the mind probe was good enough; all races can use that, can't they? (Then again UFOPaedia says they only appear on scouts and are phased out in the late game, so maybe I'm wrong).

I like Gifty's proposal to add a separate research step for manufacturing - I think that adequately restricts plasma weapons for a baseline mod. I'd ditch having to research the clip entirely, though - that always struck me as rather arbitrary (why would you only research every part of the gun except the part that can actually kill things?). Just roll the time into the gun research (which is what I did myself).
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 07:13:16 am by OwenQ »

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 11:10:31 am »
I'm still slightly skeptical about the retrofitting stuff; I don't think there's an airtight explanation as to why it's necessary. The psionics angle is smart, but half the gun-wielding aliens have no psionic ability. Mutons in particular are pretty explicitly handicapped in this area.

as OwenQ already said, I wouldn't tie this into psionics, more like an application of the circuitry of the mind probe, which isn't tied into the whole psionic story.


Gameplaywise, I also think a lot of this stuff would get unnecessarily convoluted, and hard to present clearly in-game. I still think the best way to go is to have it mirror laser research, but perhaps give each weapon a manufacturing restriction which must be unblocked by a separate tech.

I would agree if it was a technology line that was being developed by humans, but since we are only reverse-engineering it, there really isn't a reason we would need plasma pistol research in order to use a heavy plasma, if we have a heavy plasma to take apart. my reasoning was: once we have a weapon plus its ammo researched, we know how it works in general. at that point we should be able to use it (which is the way the original game does it).

so to prevent the player from having heavy plasma right from the start, I figured that the weapons should have some kind of trigger mechanism that isn't workable by humans, hence the "thought-action" trigger. once you understand the weapon, though, you should be able to replace the trigger mechanism... only later, with more understanding of the process, would you be able to manufacture your own plasma weapons, including the craft / HWP / base defence versions.


Quote from: OwenQ
I'd ditch having to research the clip entirely, though - that always struck me as rather arbitrary (why would you only research every part of the gun except the part that can actually kill things?). Just roll the time into the gun research (which is what I did myself).

well, if you want to roll it into the gun research, what happens if you only recover an empty gun? that shouldn't be able to give you full research of the system. you would have to make the gun AND its clip the research requirement, but then again you couldn't research anything if you only recovered one of the two, which is kinda stupid, too. I think there's really no way around the current system, that you need to research both items separately.

if we opt for simply adding a "manufacturing XY" step, I'd vote for making the following things the requirement for the research of "manufacturing XY":
- weapon XY clip
- weapon XY
- elerium-115
- alien alloys
- elerium-115 plasma technology (for plasma weapons) or elerium-115 fusion technology (for blaster bomb) or elerium-115 stun technology (for small launcher)

...interesting point: should you also need elerium-115 fusion technology for manufacturing of alien grenades?

Offline mercy

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2013, 02:55:33 pm »
Warboy added an Advanced Options feature: alien weapon destruction high chances at aliens death  just like in XCOM: EU   That was a great idea to slow down XCOM hauling home 10 tonnes of alien tech from first crash.

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2013, 03:02:29 pm »
alien weapon destruction high chances at aliens death  just like in XCOM: EU

where did you find that? I only see the option to turn "weapon destruction on alien death" on or off, nothing about chances. and this option has been there for a while...

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2013, 08:09:07 pm »
I'm still slightly skeptical about the retrofitting stuff; I don't think there's an airtight explanation as to why it's necessary. The psionics angle is smart, but half the gun-wielding aliens have no psionic ability. Mutons in particular are pretty explicitly handicapped in this area.

Thing is, even people who have virtually no psonic abilities can use the MIND PROBE and get a 100% success rate. I'd imagine that is also the case with the psi-lock/psi-trigger on the guns.

Offline Gifty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2013, 12:13:13 am »
as OwenQ already said, I wouldn't tie this into psionics, more like an application of the circuitry of the mind probe, which isn't tied into the whole psionic story.

Damn, this is a good point. The mind probe angle is solid. Consider me persuaded on the thought-trigger stuff. :P

Quote
I would agree if it was a technology line that was being developed by humans, but since we are only reverse-engineering it, there really isn't a reason we would need plasma pistol research in order to use a heavy plasma, if we have a heavy plasma to take apart. my reasoning was: once we have a weapon plus its ammo researched, we know how it works in general. at that point we should be able to use it (which is the way the original game does it).

This is also a good point. From a story perspective I completely agree, my only misgiving is that players will simply jump straight to Heavy Plasma if given the choice, just as they do currently. I guess my point is that we can delay heavy plasma, but that doesn't make the other plasma weapons worth researching. If every plasma weapon is delayed equally, then we're back where we started with heavy plasma being the undisputed best option.

Quote
if we opt for simply adding a "manufacturing XY" step, I'd vote for making the following things the requirement for the research of "manufacturing XY":
- weapon XY clip
- weapon XY
- elerium-115
- alien alloys
- elerium-115 plasma technology (for plasma weapons) or elerium-115 fusion technology (for blaster bomb) or elerium-115 stun technology (for small launcher)

...interesting point: should you also need elerium-115 fusion technology for manufacturing of alien grenades?

This is a good idea, so long as the fluff steps are kept pretty clean and intuitive. Maybe something (roughly) like this:

Elerium 115
↓                    ↓
Elerium Bombs          Elerium Guns
↓                               ↓
Alien Grenade           Plasma Theory
↓                               ↓
etc.                           etc.

Obviously some other prerequisites would tie in along the way, like alloys for gun research and so on. If we wanted to get really nasty, we could split certain weapons between the two branches; say, stun bombs are a "bomb" technology, but the launcher is a "gun" technology, so you've got to keep up with both branches.

Later on down the road this would lead to a "fusion weapons" fluff tech, unlocking the "blaster > bomb > manufacture" bit. But besides that, I think most of the alien weapons could be nestled into the "elerium bomb/gun" ladder (minus the psi stuff). Also, I wouldn't think of alien grenades as fusion technology. They seem like a pretty basic elerium explosive.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 12:36:06 am by Gifty »

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2013, 12:20:28 am »
okay, after a lot of trial-and-error I have started playtesting a ruleset that I think does what I want it to do... I'll share it with you, but since it is very much work-in-progress, don't expect it to be perfect.

I'll try to sum the included changes up tomorrow, but right now I'm just going to throw it at you in case you want to try it :)

EDIT: added "Tank Weapon" name strings


EDIT2: okay, a try at summing up the changes:

1) you cannot use the plasma weapons after researching them: the alien guns use a thought-activated trigger that only reacts to the brain-waves of the designated user, and we don't understand the circuits)

2) once you researched one weapon and its clip (small launcher/stun bomb and blaster launcher/blaster bomb qualify, too) and alien alloys, you can research "alien weapon technology"

3) research of "alien weapons technology" gives you an insight in the trigger mechanism: you can now retrofit those captured weapons you already researched (again, need to have researched weapon and clip) by simply bypassing the thought-activation mechanism. you can use the retrofitted versions, but they are less accurate and use more TUs. oh, that doesn't work for the blaster launcher, of course, that one is too complicated :)

4) once you researched "alien weapons technology and "mind probe", you can research "advanced alien weapons technology"

5) "advanced alien weapons technology" shows that the mind probe can be used to emulate the thought-trigger functions. you can now produce your own versions of the alien weapons (those you understand)

6) to manufacture an alien weapon, you need one mind probe per weapon as a base material, to manufacture the trigger system (because we just aren't capable of creating the circuits, just use them)

7) once you researched one plasma weapon and its clip and elerium-115, you can research "elerium plasma technology". this enables you to replicate the plasma clips you already researched. also, once you researched "advanced alien weapons technology", you can manufacture the human versions of the plasma weapons you understand.

8 ) blaster launcher and blaster bomb, once researched, allow you to research "elerium fusion technology", which then allows you to research human blaster weapons

9) for laser, plasma and blaster weapons, the craft weapons and HWP weapons have been split up into separate research subjects.

10) speaking of HWP weapons: I added tracked HWPs with plasma and launcher turrets, and hovertanks with laser cannons, because why not? (haven't tried them yet, though, so I cannot guarantee that they are working as intended :) )

11) having researched "alien alloys" and "elerium-115" and "ufo power source" allows you to research "elerium gravity technology"

12) "elerium gravity technology" gives your techies the knowledge of how to use of elerium for creating ellipsoid gravity fields: this allows the research of "new fighter craft" (aka firestorm), "new fighter transporter" (aka lightning) and "hovertank", all of which are seperate independent research projects now.

13) "elerium gravity technology" also allows research of "advanced elerium gravity technology", a really long project (2000 research points needed): this gives you the knowledge of how to create gravity fields of other shapes. this allows research of "flying suit" and "ultimate craft"



...I think that's just about it. again, this is work in progress... as I was writing this, I discovered several flaws in the .rul file, so it is now again updated :P

EDIT: found some more flaws, especially in my modified tanks not being defined as units, resulting in all kinds of crashes. ruleset updated :)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 09:17:47 pm by moriarty »

Offline MFive

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 06:08:55 am »
okay, after a lot of trial-and-error I have started playtesting a ruleset that I think does what I want it to do... I'll share it with you, but since it is very much work-in-progress, don't expect it to be perfect.

I'll try to sum the included changes up tomorrow, but right now I'm just going to throw it at you in case you want to try it :)

looks great, i will give it a try, i have been working on a kind of 'light' research complexity mod but this is almost exactly what i would have liked it to be when it grew up, so i will give this a try :)

Offline MFive

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 09:26:54 am »
forgot to add laser tank to the extra strings

STR_TANK_WEAPON_LASER: Tank Laser Weapon

other than that, looks great

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 09:46:12 am »
whoops, I'll add it. I'm sure that's not the only one I missed :)

EDIT: updated the file in the above post.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 10:04:26 am by moriarty »

Offline Hadan

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2013, 02:37:40 pm »
Questions:
How do I distinguish between a tech needing both of 2 researched items or one of 2?

For example:
  - name: STR_FUSION_MISSILE
    cost: 880
    points: 25
    dependencies:
      - STR_BLASTER_LAUNCHER
      - STR_BLASTER_BOMB
This needs Blaster and Blaster bomb researched (unless I am completely wrong)

  - name: STR_PSI_LAB
    cost: 420
    points: 25
    dependencies:
      - STR_ETHEREAL_COMMANDER
      - STR_ETHEREAL_ENGINEER
      - STR_ETHEREAL_LEADER
      - STR_ETHEREAL_MEDIC
      - STR_ETHEREAL_NAVIGATOR
      - STR_ETHEREAL_SOLDIER
      - STR_SECTOID_LEADER
      - STR_SECTOID_COMMANDER
This need either one of these aliens to be researched.

What I am trying to do:
I would like to unlock a tech "Alien Containment" when Alien Alloys is researched and either sectiod corpse, floater corpse or snakeman corpse is researched.
Can I achieve this with "dependencies" like with
 - name: STR_PLASMA_CANNON_DEP1
    cost: 0
    dependencies:
      - STR_HEAVY_PLASMA
      - STR_HEAVY_PLASMA_CLIP
    unlocks:
      - STR_PLASMA_CANNON
  - name: STR_PLASMA_CANNON_DEP2
    cost: 0
    dependencies:
      - STR_PLASMA_RIFLE
      - STR_PLASMA_RIFLE_CLIP
    unlocks:
      - STR_PLASMA_CANNON
?

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2013, 02:43:55 pm »
"unlocks" causes the mentioned research item to immediately become available, regardless of the other dependencies specified. yes, this is what you need to do:

make a new research item that acts as a dependency proxy (and is never visible): call it "alien_containment_requirement" or something, that costs 0 and gives 0 points. make the relevant corpses "unlock" your "alien_containment_requirement". now you have a kind of switch that activates once any of those corpses is researched.

then create your "alien_containment" research item with dependencies: alien_alloys and alien_containment_requirement.

:)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 02:49:28 pm by moriarty »

Offline Hadan

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2013, 03:05:38 pm »
/never mind, I think I know whats wrong.

Thanks!

I tried to implement this:
Under research:
  - name: STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT
    cost: 500
    points: 15
    dependencies:
      - STR_ALIEN_ALLOYS
      - ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1
  - name: STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1
    cost: 0
  - name: STR_SUPPLY_SHIP
    cost: 0
    points: 50
    needItem: true
  - name: STR_SECTOID_AUTOPSY
    cost: 0
    points: 50
    needItem: true
    unlocks:
      - STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1
  - name: STR_SNAKEMAN_AUTOPSY
    cost: 0
    points: 50
    needItem: true
    unlocks:
      - STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1
  - name: STR_FLOATER_AUTOPSY
    cost: 0
    points: 50
    needItem: true
    unlocks:
      - STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1

The problem is that STR_ALIEN_CONTAINMENT_DEP1 shows up as research topic right at the beginning of the game.
What did I do wrong?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 03:09:55 pm by Hadan »

Offline moriarty

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Re: Brainstorming for slower technological progression
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2013, 03:28:57 pm »
you did not specify any dependencies for it. things without dependencies show up at the beginning... apparently even if their research cost is 0. this could be viewed as a bug, but in your case you should specify the dependencies, that is all three autopsy research subjects. it doesn't matter that all three are specified, because of the mechanics of the "unlocks" function.