For history's sake (and for anyone wanting to read the guidelines of the new tech tree) my original post:
To prevent of hostile takeover of this forum by Senethro I'll post the beginnings of a mod I've been working on (very) casually. While I'm pretty happy with the way the biotech & Planettech side of the tech tree is shaping up (though of course nothing is yet set in stone), I'm kinda stuck on the other side of the tree due to my limited knowledge. I could use lots of help for the computer, physics and materials technologies!
The overall goal of this modification pack would be to widen the strategic choices available to the player. Over the years a number of ‘best strategies’ have been developed of which deviating can be lethal in a multiplayer game. Most of us here all know them: race to crawlers, tree farms and air power. Use chop&drop in combat as soon as available. Forest & Forget, or go advanced all the way, with no overall third terraforming strategy available… This leads to whole aspects of the game being unused as unprofitable, for example a fungal strategy to name just one. With six years of experience behind us, we can identify these forgotten aspects and try to rebalance them so they become a viable strategy next to the already familiar ones. This can only increase the fun of our beloved game! For example I intend to make native life cheaper to breed, and Centauri techs will make fungus more productive earlier. Air power less attractive, naval power more attractive etc...
Regarding the tech tree in general, I'd like it to make more sense, ie as much as possible more logical connections between the techs, the various benefits (abilities, base facilities...) being related to techs making more sense. (In standard SMAC one can very often wonder why the hell a tech would give a certain benefit.)
Regarding the names of the technologies, personally I'd like to minimize the following categories as much as possible:
- 'Doctrine' techs. Rename them all! Even if it is just by changing 'Doctrine' into 'Know-how', to indicate that the inhabitants of Chiron aren't reinventing the hot water strategy-wise, but that it were the technical skills that were lacking.
- Ideological techs. Cyberethics, Intellectual Integrity, The Will To Power... There is Social Engineering for a reason. Personally I don't want to be forced to 'research' a certain ideology to complete the tech tree.
- 'Advanced' techs. If one has to use the word 'Advanced' in a tech name, I'd say it's a sign of lack of inspiration.
- Meaningless tech names. Super Tensile Solids. That can be anything. Pre-Sentient Algorithms: that tech simply says something has NOT yet been developed.
- Generally weird stuff. For example Synthetic Fossil Fuels. Perhaps it's just me, but I consider it a rather absurd idea to create fossil fuels, especially since there are other energy sources available. Also eg Planetary Networks. When that is discovered, usually one hasn't yet met any other faction, so it's a little early to speak of 'Planetary' Networks.
Anyway, I've attached some of the tech stuff I've already written down. I've also included the social engineering system I'd like to use. Of course most factions would have to be redesigned to work with this system.
I hope you'll find it interesting, and perhaps post some ideas.