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Author Topic: [DONE] [Suggestion] obsolete tag (ability to block/remove research paths)  (Read 4624 times)

Offline Varana

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I think it would be great if there was an obsolete tag for entries in the research.rul section. Something like

research:
  - name: STR_OLD_GUN
    cost: 200
    obsolete:
      - STR_NEW_GUN
      - STR_SPECIAL_GUN

And if one of these two is researched, you can still use and sell your old stuff and find it in the pedia (if it was researched before), but you can not buy, manufacture or research that tech/item any more.

... or, if you like it the other way, something like

research:
  - name: STR_NEW_GUN
    cost: 500
    disables:
      - STR_OLD_GUN

Used in a mod that could clean up the lists. And you could make research more interesting, for example research of plasma basics could deactivate research of laser basics, so the player would have to decide how to play this actual game.

Offline Warboy1982

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 07:45:40 am »
interesting...

Offline Hobbes

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 03:19:30 pm »
And if one of these two is researched, you can still use and sell your old stuff and find it in the pedia (if it was researched before), but you can not buy, manufacture or research that tech/item any more.

I have mixed thoughts about this idea

This doesn't make much sense when dealing with objects, i.e., because I researched plasma weapons I can't research/build lasers afterwards? How do the scientists know that plasma is superior to lasers, if they haven't researched both in order to compare? And it doesn't really matter if lasers are inferior if there are buyers available: maybe they don't need something as powerful as plasma, maybe XCom's masters don't want to distribute plasmas throughout the world.

However, this might be a great option for RPG based on research. If you have multiple endings possible that you need to unlock through research, then this would be a way to discard the other storyline options after the player has chosen one.

Quote
... or, if you like it the other way, something like

research:
  - name: STR_NEW_GUN
    cost: 500
    disables:
      - STR_OLD_GUN

Used in a mod that could clean up the lists. And you could make research more interesting, for example research of plasma basics could deactivate research of laser basics, so the player would have to decide how to play this actual game.

Offline Varana

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 06:12:10 pm »
However, this might be a great option for RPG based on research. If you have multiple endings possible that you need to unlock through research, then this would be a way to discard the other storyline options after the player has chosen one.

If you want to, you could allow the other techtree afterwards, by using "unlocks" tag to unlock a hidden alternative tech when time has come.

Think of New_Civilian's MyMod modpack: there you have to complete gauss tech tree before allowed to research sonics. Now look at FMP: there are multiple branches, from laser to fusion, from mutant to MIB. You could force to complete one branch before allowing the next to be researched. Or you could say, "ok, player got that MIB stormtrooper armor now, so doesn't need synthsuit too. Make good use of what you have."

With this option, you could bring some structure into gameplay, could hide old rubbish in the lists (e.g. FMP AK47 is something nobody wants to buy in later game stages) and make games differ from each other without need to change to a different mod.

Offline NeoWorm

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 06:29:12 pm »
I can imagine using this for straight up upgrades to tech. Make laser rifles MKII that are a bit better than normal ones but take the same resources. No point of keeping old versions in manufacturing list because it's just clutter at this point. Or you could use it to outsource tech to civilian companies meaning that after selling the contract you can't build it anymore, but can buy it for same or less money.

Offline Meridian

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2017, 06:46:04 pm »
However, this might be a great option for RPG based on research. If you have multiple endings possible that you need to unlock through research, then this would be a way to discard the other storyline options after the player has chosen one.

I have this on my todolist.

I can imagine using this for straight up upgrades to tech. Make laser rifles MKII that are a bit better than normal ones but take the same resources. No point of keeping old versions in manufacturing list because it's just clutter at this point. Or you could use it to outsource tech to civilian companies meaning that after selling the contract you can't build it anymore, but can buy it for same or less money.

If it's just about removing clutter, this will "not work" because people may still be interested in buying/manufacturing old junk... for example for reaction/accuracy training on heavily armored enemies... just as one stupid example (I'm sure people will come up with plenty more).
What I'm trying to say is, it should be the player (not the modder) who decides what stuff to hide... similar to possibility to hide manufacturing projects in OXCE+.

Offline NeoWorm

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 07:30:37 pm »
What I'm trying to say is, it should be the player (not the modder) who decides what stuff to hide... similar to possibility to hide manufacturing projects in OXCE+.
Modder should have control over the mod and it's mechanics. It's a game design issue. You may want to pace the game right, make it challenging in a some way or use it in narrative. Buying odsolete equipment for what is a borderline exploit... not so legit.

Offline Meridian

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2017, 07:54:05 pm »
Yes, that's why I started the sentence with "If it's just about removing clutter".
Removing clutter is not a game mechanic, it's a UI design.

Btw. I can think only of 1 single game I played (Civilization), which has the concept of "obsolete items/units/etc.". In all other games I ever played, you could buy/see/use everything you have ever unlocked until the end of the game... are there any other examples?

Offline Hobbes

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2017, 07:57:25 pm »
Think of New_Civilian's MyMod modpack: there you have to complete gauss tech tree before allowed to research sonics. Now look at FMP: there are multiple branches, from laser to fusion, from mutant to MIB. You could force to complete one branch before allowing the next to be researched.

Yeah, you could, but if I'm a player and I decide halfway that I want to focus research on something else and discover that my research path is locked for no apparent reason (you'd need to explain somewhere to the player how it works for him/her to understand the consequences of the choices), then I'm going to be frustrated.

Quote
Or you could say, "ok, player got that MIB stormtrooper armor now, so doesn't need synthsuit too. Make good use of what you have."

But that's why there's money and alloys/Elerium in game: you can only build what you can afford using the limited resources available. Make good use of what you have, but if there's only 1 item to build since the similar ones are locked out, then you're forcing the player into a single choice. 

For instance, if I choose sonic over gauss, and then later I fail to recover Elerium/alloys from UFOs to build those sonic weapons, then the game design has just placed me in a very difficult tactical position, if not impossible because plan B (gauss) is locked out and all of these Mutons are trashing my soldiers armed only with conventional weapons.

I can imagine using this for straight up upgrades to tech. Make laser rifles MKII that are a bit better than normal ones but take the same resources. No point of keeping old versions in manufacturing list because it's just clutter at this point.

This is a good way to add upgrades to weapons. Research aiming sights and all of the lasers are replaced with improved versions.

Modder should have control over the mod and it's mechanics. It's a game design issue. You may want to pace the game right, make it challenging in a some way or use it in narrative. Buying odsolete equipment for what is a borderline exploit... not so legit.

If you say that the modder needs to have control, then he's also entitled to decide if the borderline exploit should be present or not. And if there's so much of an issue with the exploit, then there are easier ways to fix them by editing the equipment's stats.

Offline TKO

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2017, 10:45:43 pm »
I wonder if people are thinking about this the wrong way .. forget the weapons-upgrade stuff .. how about stuff that is outside the players control:

Lets think about alternative storylines and mods.. If a player chooses to take a live "race-x" alien, interrogate them, and end up with a dead "race-x" alien, then all options for researching a peaceful solution or alliance with "race-x" are removed from the board.  (With psychic abilities, they are aware that you have killed one of their own, so aren't willing to negotiate any more.)

This obsolete tag could introduce some genuinely interesting game mechanics. 

Offline Meridian

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2017, 11:31:09 pm »
I wonder if people are thinking about this the wrong way .. forget the weapons-upgrade stuff .. how about stuff that is outside the players control:

Lets think about alternative storylines and mods.. If a player chooses to take a live "race-x" alien, interrogate them, and end up with a dead "race-x" alien, then all options for researching a peaceful solution or alliance with "race-x" are removed from the board.  (With psychic abilities, they are aware that you have killed one of their own, so aren't willing to negotiate any more.)

This obsolete tag could introduce some genuinely interesting game mechanics.

That's what Hobbes (and others elsewhere) suggested... and what is on my todo list already.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2017, 01:42:44 am »
I wonder if people are thinking about this the wrong way .. forget the weapons-upgrade stuff .. how about stuff that is outside the players control:

Lets think about alternative storylines and mods.. If a player chooses to take a live "race-x" alien, interrogate them, and end up with a dead "race-x" alien, then all options for researching a peaceful solution or alliance with "race-x" are removed from the board.  (With psychic abilities, they are aware that you have killed one of their own, so aren't willing to negotiate any more.)

This obsolete tag could introduce some genuinely interesting game mechanics.

I think the overall consensus is that such a feature would be great to be available for modders. The discussion is rather more about it should be used ;)

Offline Meridian

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Re: Ability to block research topics/paths
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 05:09:41 pm »
EDIT: deleted old info

EDIT: new details available: https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,5482.msg86298.html#msg86298
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 03:35:56 pm by Meridian »

Offline Varana

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 11:01:44 pm »
 Fine, thx  8)

One more thing: It would be nice, if there would be a short message, similar to the messages that tell what can be researched or produced now.
Something like "removed: Old tech 1"?

Offline Meridian

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Re: obsolete tag
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2017, 05:08:10 pm »
One more thing: It would be nice, if there would be a short message, similar to the messages that tell what can be researched or produced now.
Something like "removed: Old tech 1"?

That's too late, isn't it?

I want to know BEFORE I start researching something, that it will disable other things:
 - which I may want to keep (if it's something I have already)
 - or which I may want to research instead (if it's a future research, i.e. alternative path)