Author Topic: Rough tech tree progression guideline  (Read 9185 times)

Offline AncientSion

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Rough tech tree progression guideline
« on: April 25, 2016, 09:53:55 am »
Even though i spend a whole of bunch of hours with the mod, i still cant clearly see the big Picture when it Comes to tech tree Progression. Everything just seems to convoluted with a zillion of rather useless filler-techs.

As far as i can see, the first Major Thing you Need is Spring Cleaning. Afterwards, you want to capture a Trader engineer to unlock Basic Engineering (i believe). After that, you can probably Research some Kind of armour, even though Tac Vest production seems to be only worthwihile Addition after Warrior, everything else appears to be not useful, like Dura, Hover, Grav Harness.
Better med-kits are kinda useful too.
In regards to weapons, you immediatly want PS Ammo as far as i can tell.

My current campaign is in First Year November. Im using conventional weapons with PS Ammo, and a whole load of Hammers and Rapiers.
I find it a bit strange that after 11 months, im still unable to produce any Kind of non-conventional ammo, so im even though i have some ammo, i dont plan on using my captured Laser weapons so far.

My question basicly, where exactly do i Research from here own ? I suppose there should be some kind of Milestone tech hidden in the 40 techs i can Research, which would allow me to got something useful going for once ? For example, be able to manufacture laser ammunition or gauss ammo for salvaged craft gauss weapon ?
Also, i could probably use some Kind of weapon platform, like a 2x2 unit, how do i get it ?

thanks

Offline x60mmx

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 10:48:47 am »
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=4106.0

It is stickied for a reason ;-)  Revenant Armor, Spiked Maces and the Custom Snipin Gun aren't hard to get to and are very useful.  Piratez is not meant to be the deadline-race paced game the OG is, so feel free to slow down.  As long as you stay over 1k score monthyl and manage yohr expenses you will be fine.

Offline legionof1

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 11:23:52 am »
I can answer 2 of your questions. Laser tech is tied to the capture of a engineer of any faction and then the interrogation of an academy engineer. 2x2 units are quite rare in my experience. You can tame captured reapers and boomasarus, but stuning these guys without getting mauled is really hard. Also they can get wounds and you can't use vodka on them because of the way 2x2 bodies work. So pure stun or get lucky near map end so they dont bleed out. Tanks and cyberdisks are slightly more feasible but require 2 wrecks of there unit type. So unless your being very active in countering pogroms these will be in short supply. The Siberia base mission has several tanks in it guaranteed so you can get some wrecks without doing pogroms. Oh and a marginal portion of the tech tree is tied to the files you recover from the Siberia run.

Beyond that without seeing your save i can't further advise where to go.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 01:30:42 pm »
Even though i spend a whole of bunch of hours with the mod, i still cant clearly see the big Picture when it Comes to tech tree Progression. Everything just seems to convoluted with a zillion of rather useless filler-techs.

Yes it's convoluted. That's the plan. So which techs, precisely, are useless? Such a general whine is useless for any kind of improvement to be made.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 03:20:13 pm »
I personally dislike techs that don't yield anything tangible and there seems to be a lot of "info topics" at the beginning. Information is great, but it is mostly good as a side. Any kind of item, hwp, craft or craft weapon is more satisfying as a main. (as an aside, parrots have completely overshadowed dogs for me and as such the mutant alliance contact the tech has fallen way down in the list of interesting topics).

I'll look back in a save to try to fish the more unsatisfying ones and will pay attention as I progress. One I can think of right now is smart weapons. It gives you nothing but the option to research smart pistols. It would be nice if the brainers came up with some kind of prototype or something, big and heavy HMG with a whole computer strapped to it? Or if they just came up with the pistol straight away.

I don't mind if the research gets longer if the whole becomes more rewarding (ie merge smart weapons and smartpistol or increase the length a bit and add a prototype). Seeing the research completed popup but then getting nothing that affects the gameplay until you research more is building up excitement to then disappoint.

Test flight is another, I think, that feels like you could get some flying something (a 20th century drone? a flying armor?) but ends up as filler tech.

Those kind of tech info topics could at least give hints on how to get something out of them. One of the main problem of Piratez is the many dependencies, which can often leave the prize dangling just one research topic away. Something like "If we were to work on topic X, we should be able to weaponize this capt'n" could be a nice hint for a player lost in the tech forest and that would feel valuable too.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 03:27:27 pm »
Without these filler techs, there would be just looong blind researches and relevant topics coming up even more surprisingly, seemingly without any sense. Also without them, any sort of order in the tree would be lost for me. They denote stepping stones for general orientation. Also it's easy to say that everything should give something, sensible even, but actually coding in that 'stuff that is given' is another story. I have tons more stuff planned, many of it to help these 'empty researches' but I cannot simply conjure it from thin air. So the research tree will always be quicker to appear than actual stuff that comes with researches; foundations first, content later.

The 'test flight' specifically is there so you will know you actually have a Pilot researched and don't worry about it anymore. It used to be an invisible topic.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 03:37:49 pm »
Ah! Well I never made that connection. I expected it to mean th brainers worked on the theory of flying and made some sense of it. Maybe an old biplane could be obtained, as a cheap patrol craft that has no carrying capacity, super slow speed but rarely needs refuel (the maintenance cost is the pilot's allocation to buy fuel locally, coming back to base is just to switch pilots)?

Worse than the pigeon for speed and capacity, worse than the zeppelin for coverage, but cheaper than either.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 03:43:30 pm »
Do you really think that something cheaper than Pigeon is feasible? Pigeon is already dirt-cheap, almost to the point where the hangar itself would be more expensive than the plane :)

Offline AncientSion

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 04:28:52 pm »
Yes it's convoluted. That's the plan. So which techs, precisely, are useless? Such a general whine is useless for any kind of improvement to be made.

Whats with the hostility in your post ? I am free to critize the not-so-good things in the mod, am i not ?
I think it is iindeed valid to critize a tech tree that seems to be a huge mess. Without having access to a proper, visual tech tree application, one can only wonder what to Research in order to get a new vessel, or a new weapon.
As such, im asking for a rough tech outline which tells by "Milestone" techs by their Name, so i know which tech i can skip and which i can Focus on, once they become available.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 04:50:22 pm »
And I am free to act hostile when I feel being patronized by someone whom I don't even know. Right? Right. You think the tree is a huge mess, feel free to fix it. Or at least give a more detailed analysis or pointers, not just a general unproductive whine. I'm not ignoring people's voices, but implementation can take a lot of time sometimes, or might be deemed not worth the effort, or simply unfeasible in the light of stuff already existing, unbeknowst to the Reader. Ignorance in itself is not a sin. I hereby also deny any notions about my supposed powers to read minds, or any ability to be always right on the first try. So don't expect me to live up to these standards.

The tree is opaque through its sheer size (which oftentimes leads to less-than-satidfactory balance - repairs and updates are basically done each version, which there were more than 50 already). And no, size is non-negotiable on principle, but adding sensible shortcuts or eliminating the most asinine things is always an option. The multiple unlocks and a general mess represent the fact that reality is messy, also serve to block the player off the tech that'd invalidate too much of the tech he'd research later (unless he's super-lucky). So, in short, the 'mess' is a design choice, for good or bad. If you're not interested in collectibles, you'll never get much enjoyment out of such an arrangement (not that there's something bad about it).

Answering your basic question, the most important milestone techs are Back To School, School Graduation and Higher Studies.

Also if you're looking in any 'how to beat the game fast' pointers, better ask people who specialize in such endavours. My design was to make the game quite impossible to beat fast, no matter your prior knowledge. I enjoy going blind and stumbling upon things half-randomly for its replayability value. In short, I made a game which is first enjoyable to me, second only (but not a distant second) to other people.

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 05:12:43 pm »
Tech in XPiratez is mind-blowing.  I honestly can't think of any other game in my experience where there has been such a huge tech tree.  For what its worth, it feels like everything in Piratez does lead somewhere, it just may not do so immediately.  Often it is a component of another set of requirements for techs down the line.

"When can I make lasers and gauss?"   - a long time away.  The game is designed to force the player to be creative, and use scavenged gear.  Finding workable counters with lower tech is rewarding, then there is the stock pile of laser/gauss to counter the  really tough guys that you run into from time to time.

Because the Tech is so huge, when I started my current campaign, I set a couple goals.  First was to build a significant research facility. https://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Research_(Piratez)#Research_Base 
In order to fund the expense of this set up, I determined to bee-line for Counterfeiting.  I used the tech tree viewer extensively to determine which techs were critical (ie. PIRATEZ STRAITS) and realized that prisoner interviews and interrogations would be incredibly important.  I set up two prisons in the first base, one in the research base as it was starting, and another for spillover in a storage base.  Most of the 2nd half of the first year was spent popping "Get One Frees" from books, magazines, and prisoners.  These are generally cheaper than researching the popped item directly and 5 or so brainers on each project works out pretty well as they generally cost 5 or 10 pts.

I had the mint by running by the early part of the second year with about 170 runts powering it.  The Research base is near full capacity with 38 brainers.  The starter base still has 17 brainers that I usually throw at prisoner interviews and weapons techs.  Big stuff gets crunched in the Studyroom Base.

I have the feeling I'm halfway through the tree, but I could be significantly further.  It feels like midgame to me.  I've yet to see a lot of different enemies,  this being a Trader heavy run with a sprinkling of Academy.  Starting to get some church and mercs have put me on notice there is a pogrom coming. 

Like Dioxine said: Gateway techs are the Education techs.  I'd add that VIP interrogations are often gateway techs too.

Offline superschokokeks

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 07:20:05 pm »
Tech tree is pretty good and fun to discover. Imo Endgame tech tree need some minor changes, so that key-items-hunting is less a pain

(still don't get why you need a dmged armor to get a better armor, when you know how to construct that (dmged) armor. You already know its strengths and weaknesses. And sure, you make some tests, before you put an armor on for combat.. Eh offrail).

Just keep one thing in mind: Try to capture every enemy type more than once. If you start early with that, you save you from research-hunting, but don't risk your gals life

Offline Arthanor

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 08:33:25 pm »
Do you really think that something cheaper than Pigeon is feasible? Pigeon is already dirt-cheap, almost to the point where the hangar itself would be more expensive than the plane :)

Eh, fair enough.. for some reason I really dislike the pigeon, but I really like the zeppelin. So I guess I wanted a zeppelin-lite as in even slower and less radar but as characterful, rather than a faster and less autonomy.

I had this picture of a biplane bush flying out of places, with the gal piloting it refuelling every day at the local town, slowly spending her allocation and keeping an eye in the sky for the main base. I don't know, it's hard to convey properly, but something more old and whacky looking than the pigeon. To me, the pigeon has no story. It's just a ~21st century plane that you rent and fly because you need to, without any effort since it's available from the start. It's too clean and proper for how scavenged and ramshackle everything else is, and a small, large range radar on a plane feels too advanced and specialized for something you can just buy on the cheap. The biplane (or biplane squadron? To explain a decent radar range on such a low tech platform. And that'd make a cool hangar picture) would be something funky that came out of the brainerz' mind after questioning a pilot on the "magic" of flying (so some effort needed and added value in capturing/interrogating the pilot) and then got cobbled together by the runts. I feel that'd fit better with the early steampunkish stage of the mod.

Anyhow, we're far from the main point of the post now, which was tech that feels like filler. The main critic on those from me is that there are so many things in the early game to research (my potential projects list is rather overwhelming, even though it is my.. 4th time at least through early game but I refuse to just read the ruleset to plan things, only for debugging or occasionally for one topic out of frustration) and brainerz are still rare/expensive.

In the list, I've got some techs that I know will yield something small (being able to make ammo for one more type of gun at the cost of one of my scavenged guns, an outfit that could be useful for a few of the gals or under certain circumstances, interrogations that you know you need to do at some point, etc.), but then you get lured by fancy sounding stuff which disappointingly doesn't give anything upon completion and may not even unlock any new research, so you are left puzzled as to what the point was beyond the pretty picture.

Sure, it is useful for the future, but maybe at the end of the article for those "intangible progress" topics, there could be a small hint as to what else it complements, so you have an idea where to go. This would alleviate some of the "lost in the tech forest" feeling and actually give a new kind of value to the project: They help you orient yourself. As it is, smart weapons and test flight do feel like filler: They don't add much more than flavor text, the "this will be useful for: X" without any hint of what else you need for that, and all the projects that depend on them could also just depend on their dependencies.

You already have something sort of to that extent for both my examples:

Smart Weapons: "A less ambitious, but more promising approach is putting Slave AIs into handheld weapons, getting a real-life auto-aim!" but I had to dig in the ruleset to figure out how to do that, since the other dependency for the pistol was not obvious. I was expecting a few "smart-X" research topics to pop-up immediately, as the brainerz try to wire slave AIs to various guns in typical slapping scavenged things together Piratez style. But it turns out, you have to start way lower tech with something that never grabbed my attention as a precursor to high tech guns before you get anything for small arms. Just changing it to "With some experience designing our own handheld weapons, a less ambitious but more promising approach would be putting Slave AIs into them, getting a real-life auto-aim!". It hasn't changed much, but now you have a hint that you should let the brainerz design their own guns (or which there aren't many choices early on, so finding the right one should be relatively fast). Then having unlocked the smartpistol, the other weapons that depend on it are much more obvious.

Similarly for the Test Flight: "I believe this unique experience will come in handy when designing advanced vessels", so if I were the brainer's commander I'd be like: "So what else do you need?! Just tell me!". And a simple "Along with some looks at blueprints from 'em flghty crafts or more chattin' with engineers, I believe...". I'm also surprised to find out that Test Flight isn't required for more craft designs.

Offline Rince Wind

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 09:36:52 pm »
I on the other hand love the "pretty pictures" and the fluff research. It makes the world feel more alive. It is already amazing that a lot of the country research, that would be fillers in a lot of games, actually have meaning beyond explaining the world. By giving you the contacts research and maybe even other stuff.
It is annoying that you often don't know what kind of new research possibilities you got, but I know it is an engine thing. And the "mark as seen" button really helps in that regard.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: Rough tech tree progression guideline
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 09:47:36 pm »
@Arthanor: I really love that vision! Indeed, Pigeon does lack character. And indeed some of the discoveries ought to give more info about further progress. The truth however is, early part of the tree is still in tatters, basically. Your current starting point is way above the point of usefulness of half of the starting tech; you get a lot of stuff without any character or at wrong time, since it is needed to support the current, all-ready-to-go starting point. You get tier-3 items and weapons from get-go, along with tier-1 and tier-2 stuff which is mostly obsolete on day 1. This is not a finished game, after all, just incomplete WIP. So for now all is on hold, until I'll roll the starting clock back and make the progression more logical (and better described).