I have reorganized the summary of the first three technology threads into sections. Since this is such a major reorganization, there is a very real danger that I may have lost something in the process of cutting and pasting this thing together. Everyone should pay special attention to make sure that I didn't drop anything. I've made an effort to improve the explanation for a few of the items. Some of them still need work, but I guess that is for the new thread master to deal with.
<u>Section I: The Research Process (How do I do research into technology?)</u>
1) MULTIPLE TOPIC RESEARCH -- Many of the following ideas require that you be able to research several ideas at once. There must be some advantage to researching things in parallel rather than serially, or else no one will do it.
2) TECHNOLOGICAL FIELDS -- Many of the following ideas require that the techs be placed into a small number of broad categories. So far, the suggestions have been: Philosophy, Agriculture, Economics, Math&Physics, and Psychology. Effort should probably be made to make the different fields roughly equal in terms of number and usefulness of techs (trying to put the old tech tree into these categories give Math&Physics a big advantage...)
3) MAXIMUM RESEARCH RATE -- Have a maximum rate at which research can be accumulated. No amount of "prodding" will enable your scientists to research faster than some basic human limit (probably limited by communication in the real world, what game effect should limit this?)
4) HAVE THE NUMBER OF TECH POINTS REQUIRED FOR A TECH BE FIXED INSTEAD OF RELATIVE -- Pottery should not be just as hard to research as Nuclear Fission, even if you are actively researching them both in 1945. Basing the number of research points needed for a particular tech on the number of techs you already possess can lead to ridiculous situations like that. (editor's note -- apparently the old civ's had anti-synergy, the more you know, the harder it is to learn )
5) TECHS SHOULD BE HARDER TO RESEARCH -- It is unrealistic for a civ to have the ability to realistically research every tech in the game without help -- historically nobody has developed everything. Techs should have a higher cost relative to the number of research points that are expected to be produced by an empire than in previous games.
6) DIFFERENT COST FOR 'TRAILBLAZERS' AND 'FOLLOWERS' -- The first civ to research a tech should have to pay a steeper cost than those who come after, since pioneering new technology is hard, while reproducing an already known advance is easier (Maybe this should be based only on civs you have diplomatic contact with? It doesn't do you much good if a tribe on the other side of the planet discovers the wheel, but you never hear about it...)
7) BASIC THEORETICAL RESEARCH -- Have some reserch points devoted to "basic research" that isn't likely to produce any specific advances (i.e. won't give you a specific building or unit or something), but which enhance research in other areas (e.g. research in "Basic Physics" might enhance the speed at which you research "Lasers", "Nuclear Fission", and "Nuclear Fusion", but you could achieve those advances without doing the basic research, just at a higher cost. This would be a tradeoff -- Do I want Fission now, or do I want to invest a little more up front, and be sure of getting all three sooner in the long run, even though I wouldn't get any specific advance until later).
8) TECH PRESERVATION -- If a civ doesn't work to maintain a technology (e.g. by building libraries) they should lose the tech. This can simulate the Dark Ages. (Question -- how to keep this from being micromanagement headache?)
9) LESS DETERMINISTIC RESEARCH PROGRESS -- Instead of just "100 Research Points gets you an advance" it should be "100 Research Points gives you a 5% chance of discovering tech each turn, 110 RP gives you 10% chance of discovering it each turn, etc". This way you can have a rough idea of when you will discover a new technology, but you can never be exactly sure because there is an element of uncertainty, just like science in the real world. This is basically how things were done in Master of Orion 1.
10) TECH SYNERGY -- you can research multiple techs simultaneously, and researching related techs provides synnergistic effects, i.e. researching "Physics" and "Calculus" together would get you done faster than researching "Physics" and "Communism", since the results of one field are applicable to the other.
11) RESEARCH SYNERGY THROUGH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS -- We should get bonuses to our technology development rate if we are on friendly diplomatic terms with other civs researching similar technology because of international science conferences, wider circulation technical journals, access to each other's research, etc.
12) TECH BLEED -- Scientific Advances should be able to "leak out" from high-tech civs to low-tech civs. The rate of leakage should be proportional to the age of the tech (If we drove up to a stone-age tribe they would probably realize the significance of our advanced "wheel" technology before we even got out of the car...) and also proportional to the level of diplomatic relations (if we constantly interact with another society, we are likely to be more familiar with their technology).
13) AI TECH TRADING INTELLIGENCE -- Make sure that the AIs only make tech trades that make sense. Why trade for "Mass Transit" if you don't have "Automobile"?
14) REVERSE ENGINEERING -- Fighting and destroying or capturing enemy units with superior technology should aid in the discovery of that technology.
15) DEVELOPMENT INERTIA -- It doesn't make sense that the same researchers who just gave you "Nuclear Fission" would be able to turn around and give you "Television, because they are only peripherally related. Scientists are specialized, and can't easily be pushed around to different fields. You should have multiple "teams", each of which is working on a different project. When they are done with one, they will research a second project in the same field at a faster rate than an unrelated field (or pay a higher cost to research an "outside our expertise" field -- the effect is the same).
16) RESEARCH PRIORITY SLIDER BARS WITH 'INERTIA' -- There should be several fields of research (see item 2) and you can set different allocations for the different fields (e.g. 25% of research points to Philosophy, 25% to Ag, 50% to Econ.). However, whenever you change the allocation, you take a hit to the "efficiency" at which you research (i.e. number of research points per turn decreases), which is proportional to the magnitude of the change. This "efficiency hit" gradually diminishes over time (an exponential decay?) until your society reaches "scientific equilibrium" at the new settings. This effect is likely to result in a "character" for different civs, because some will emphasize one field over another, and be unlikely to change because of the cost.
17) STARTING POSITION DEPENDENT CIV SPECIALTIES -- When a civ is placed on the map, give it a tech specialty. This solves the problem of saying "the Phonecians should get a seafaring bonus because they had a maritime empire" by instead giving a civ that starts close to water a maritime bonus (and if that happened to be the Phonecians, then you could play the Phonecians like the existed historically, although hopefully they'd last longer ). A tech specialty would be a small bonus to research in related fields (or simply a higher beginning allocation to a certain field, if the RESEARCH PRIORITY SLIDER BARS WITH 'INERTIA' ssystem is used). The bonus should disappear in modern times. (not necessary with SLIDER BAR system) Maybe give user the option to decide which type of place to start in, so that he or she can determine character of civ?
18) HISTORICAL ERA SHOULD PLAY A ROLE -- Since in ancient times scholars studied a wide variety of fields (they were real Renaissance men ) it makes sense to have tech specialization only play a role in more modern types of research (e.g. an ancient Greek philosopher might have contemplated both the role and practice of government as well as the laws of motion).
19) LOCATION DEPENDENT RESEARCH LABS -- Research is done in labs and universities, and labs and universities have to actually exist somewhere. If you are counting on your scientists who are developing "Nuclear Fission" to win the war for you, but the city they are conducting the research in gets captured, you should be up a creek...
20) DIFFERENTIATED 'SCIENCE BUILDINGS' -- Have buildings which enhance the scientific output of a city differentiated: You have your choice of a Physics Lab, a Biological Research Hospital, etc., which only add their bonus when the city is contributing to the appropriate kind of research. (Maybe this is an option when you build a science building, e.g.: "Do you want this Library to be general, or specific to a particular field?")
21) SCIENCE CITY IMPROVEMENTS MORE IMPORTANT FOR SCIENCE THAN ECONOMIC BUILDINGS -- Apparently in CtP, buildings which boost your economic output are more worthwhile for your research progress than Libraries and such. Don't do that in Civ 3.
22) DIFFERENT BUILDINGS HELP WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF RESEARCH -- Barracks can conduct military research, temples can conduct religous/philosophical research, etc.
23) BLIND TECH -- People seem to either love or hate the blind research from SMAC.
24) BLIND 'HISTORICAL' TECH -- research follow Blind Tech model up until Industrialization, after which the player can use the Directed model, emulating the superior control and direction that people have over scientific discovery with modern methods.
25) BLIND 'HISTORICAL' TECH ALTERNATIVE -- Have a 'ratio' which controls how many techs you get to pick. When you first start, all of your tech choices are blind. Then after some time, you get to pick every 5th tech. Then every 4th tech, etc., so you start with no control but eventually get complete control.
26) SERENDIPITOUS ADVANCES -- Technology discovered "accidentally". Basically a random event that gives you a tech advance.
27) FAMOUS SCIENTISTS -- Scientific personalities, such as Einstein or Pasteur might provide some "flavor" to the scientific experience. Maybe these are random events that give you one time bonuses? ("Pasteur has established a laboratory in Paris, science output doubles in Paris for one turn" or something).
28) ARTIFACTS -- Similar to the Alien Artifacts in SMAC, these would be similar to the "goodie huts", but would simply help research into a particular technology.
<u>Section II: The Tech Tree (How do I get specific techs?)</u>
29) LOTS OF TECHS -- Some people think we need lots, and I mean LOTS of techs. Others think that too many techs may be bad, because they would grow hard to differentiate.
30) MULTIPLE PREREQS -- More than just two should be possible. This suggestion is probably implicit in some of the more ambitious prereq schemes.
31) MULTIPLE PATHS TO A PARTICULAR ADVANCE -- Instead of having rigid prerequisites that demand that a civ follow a particular research path to get to a tech, allow several different ways to achieve a particular advance. Thre are several alternatives...
32) PREREQUISITE EQUIVALENCE -- instead of having a hard and fast prerequisite, allow some of them to be 'equivalence classed'. For example, if you wanted to develop "Technocracy", you need the advance on "Microchip", as well as knowledge of three government types, such as "Democracy", "Fascism", and "Monarchy".
33) BOOLEAN PREREQS -- The prerequisites should be specified with boolean logic, i.e. AND, OR, NOT. For example, the prerequisite for "Labor Union" might be "Capitalism" and "Assembly Line", because the workers band together naturally to fight for rights, OR "Communism" and "Mass Media", because the communist activists are able to convince large numbers of workers to bargain collectively. However, "Capitalism" and "Mass Media" wouldn't do anything to advance "Labor Unions" without the other techs. -- Labor Union <= (Capitalism AND Assembly Line) OR (Communism AND Mass Media).
34) PREREQUISITE POINTS -- In this suggestion, different technologies each contribute a certain point value to satisfying the prerequisite of a follow-on technology. For example, If you were interested in researching "Trench Warfare", you might need to gather 10 prereq points, where "Machine Guns" would give you 4, "Artillery" would give you 7, "Chemical Warfare" would give you 3, and "Conscription" would give you 3. Supporters of this concept argue that many of the other suggestions in this list can be incorporated into this new scheme (for example, DIPLOMATIC SYNNERGY can be implemented by giving you a prereq point for having diplomatic relations with a civ that already has the tech in question) and that it will allow multiple different strategies, making the new complexity worthwhile. Others oppose the system because it seems too complex. The debate rages Sorry, still not an optimal explanation. I'd like to have a better example -- Bell, can you come up with one, preferably using techs we are familiar with from Civ or SMAC, not very low level like longbow/crossbow, so people can relate a bit more easily?
35) REDUNDANT TECHS -- have multiple different ways to achieve the same in-game effect (say, a 2-1-1 unit or a "makes one unhappy person content" building) with different technological paths (for example, either "Religious Fanatacism" or "Professional Standing Army" techs might allow the 2-1-1 unit over the 1-1-1 unit). This allows different civilizations to take a less "cookie-cutter" approach to technological development, since there are no longer an "vital" technologies. (Maybe this and MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY are redundant, or at least related?)
36) MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY -- Developing one technology might not make sense when another one already existed. "Green Industries" and "Advanced Toxic Waste Disposal" might be examples of this.
37) RANDOM TECH TREE!!!! -- As long as there are multiple paths to each tech, there can be a probability that each path may or may not exist in a particular game. This adds to the excitement, and also the realism, since you can never quite be sure what your scientists will come up with until they come up with it. This is probably more easily accomplished if the REDUNDANT TECHS idea is implemented, since there is less likelihood of a civ being stranded without easy access to an important feature.
38) OFFSHOOT TECHS -- Minor technologies related to Major Technologies (i.e. Major techs are the ones we are familiar with) that are recieved as a random bonus for researching the Major Tech. They're not available every game, and only give a small bonus. Example: Researching "Warrior Code" might give you "Longbow" technology, which would give you better archers. Hypothetically these "minor techs" could be linked to specific civs to give them "character".
39) FORBID 'OUT-OF-ORDER' TECH -- If you don't have the prereqs for a tech, you shouldn't be able to use it, even if you trade for it, etc. If (through some quirk of fate) Columbus has plans for an A-Bomb, and traded them to the Native Americans he met, it is unlikely that they would have been able to nuke Europe, since they didn't have the infrastructure to make use of the idea. Suggested enhancement to this suggestion -- link things to "literacy", or possibly "era" (e.g. bronze-age tribe can't use Renaissance idea).
40) MAKE TECH TREE REFLECT GAME SITUATION -- the current game situation should affect the tech tree. A land-locked civ is unlikely to develop "Navigation", and a civ with poor mineral resources is unlikely to develop "Advanced Mining".
41) HAVE GOVERNMENT/DIPLOMATIC CHOICES AFFECT TECH DEVELOPMENT -- Would a Democratic government ever research "Doctrine: Loyalty"?
42) FACTION/CIVILIZATION SPECIFIC TECH TREES -- different cultures look at the world in different ways, so it wouldn't be surprising to see that they would follow different paths or discover different technologies in different orders. (concerns over accusations of unfairness and "racism" abound...)
43) CONCEPTS vs. APPLICATIONS -- Instead of an "all techs are equivalent" way of looking at the world, break techs into "concepts" and "applications". A "concept" might be "Gunpowder", while an "application" might be "Musket" or "Tunnel Construction". The application techs would all have a concept tech as a prerequisite, and the concept techs only (mostly?) have other concepts as their prereqs. This way, a civ can be very advanced in general principles, or concentrate on developing known techniques. This might reflect the differences between invention and innovation.
44) SENSIBLE TECH/ADVANCE CORRELATION -- Certain advances were linked to techs that really didn't make sense, e.g. "Labor Union" and "Mechanized Infantry". Don't do that.
45) RANDOMIZED APPLICATIONS -- Techs shouldn't always give you the same benefit. Some games, a specific tech might give you a particular unit, in others it might give you a building, etc.
46) ARMS RACES -- There should be more differentiation between "identical" techs. All of the major powers had "tanks" in World War II, but the designs of some countries were superior to those of others. (How might this be implemented without too much micromanagment? Since the rate of "obsolecense" is relatively quick, would this effect be too small to bother modelling in Civ III?)
47) SPACING OF TECHS IN THE TREE -- Make sure that the techs are judiciously placed in the tree so we don't have too few in one era and too many in another. Try to keep it balanced.
48) SUPPORTING TECHS FOR OTHER IDEAS IN OTHER THREADS -- Some ideas in other threads give new abilities (such as specific types of specialist citizens) so it makes sense to have techs that bestow these abilities.
49) DOWNLOADING TECHS -- Firaxis should periodically expand the tech tree by posted new techs on the website to incorporate into the game (Could this be done without ruining play balance?)
<u>The Techs Themselves...</u>
50) TECH ADVANCES TIED TO GAME FEATURES -- Features such as 'borders' should only be enables once the appropriate tech is discovered. (Any discussion about this? Good, bad?)
51) RESOURCE LIMITATION LIFTING TECHS -- In SMAC there were some techs that you needed to research before you could gather more than 2 resources of each type. While an interesting idea, the implementation in SMAC was too limiting. The techs which lifted the limits were too indispensible, and came in too late, often choking off an empire until they could be found. I'd like to include some concrete suggestions for improving this. Shining1 suggested that resource limits should be a function of Social Engineering. Other thoughts?.
52) EVERY TECH SHOULD HAVE SOME 'BASIC' BENEFIT -- Each tech should have some effect of the 'basic' parameters of a civ, the kind of things that are likely to be influenced by Social Engineering (e.g. "Trade" should benefit your Economy rating, and "Crop Rotation" should benefit your Growth).
53) GET RID OF OVERBROAD TECHS -- For example, "Industrialization" encompasses many things (technical, social, and economic), and should not be lumped into a single tech.
54) AN OPTION FOR A LESS 'MECHANISTIC' WORLDVIEW -- Some people feel that Civ emphasis science and technology, not allowing for the possibility of a civilization that has a less mechanistic worldview, and focuses instead on other pursuits, like philosophy or psychology. Is this workable? Suggestions? Could this have happened, even if it didn't historically?
55) MORE EMPHASIS ON FOOD MAKING TECHS -- Plants cultivation, Farming, Irrigation, Genetic manipultion...
56) GREATER EMPHASIS ON THE ARTS -- The tech tree in general focuses on military hardware and hard science, leaving the Arts somewhat unaddressed (this suggestion probably needs to be fleshed out more). some posters question whether this is a good suggestion.
57) MAKE ARTS ADVANCES 'SCORE BOOSTERS' -- Maybe Art and Culture advances should simply be score boosters (like "Future Tech") or one time benefits.
58) TECHNOLOGY SHOULD INCREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENTERTAINERS -- Certain technologies should enhance the effectiveness of your "entertainer" specialists in the city screen (e.g. Television).
59) TECH: Music -- A dead end tech that adds +50% to the effectiveness of entertainers. So an entertainer gains an early boost of +100% with the discover of music and construction of a market place. This suggestion seems to be even more unpopular than last time. Should it be removed or altered to make it more palatable?
60) TECH: Computers -- if you're reading this list, you know what these are
61) TECH: Programming -- the art/science of making computers do what you want.
62) TECH: Systems Analysis -- ??
63) TECH: Computing Machine -- A mechanical or electrical device that demonstrates that arithmetic and logical tasks can be done by machines. Examples would be an adding machine or a punch-card sorter. This would be a pre-req for...
64) TECH: Stored Program Computer -- A device which maintains its instruction sequence in a dynamic storage medium (e.g. the DRAM in the computer you're using right now). Allows much more flexibility than a direct input computing machine.
65) TECH: The Transistor -- Among other things, can be used to build digital logic circuits. The transistor is the basis for all modern computers. Integrated Circuits (ICs) use transistors to accomplish most of thier functions. The Transistor is what made the "Information Age" possible.
66) TECH: Vacuum Tubes -- Among other things, can be used to build digital logic circuits. Vacuum Tubes were the basis for the first electronic computers. (This is an excellent candidate for some of the prereq ideas -- Transistors and Vacuum Tubes are mostly unrelated technologies that both allow computers, but the Transistor has other benefits. So the prereq for "Computers" might be "Computing Machine AND Vacuum Tubes OR Computing Machine AND Transistors", but you need "Transistor AND Computers" for Microprocessors).
67) TECH: High Level Programming Languages -- Give the user an easier way to program computers.
68) TECH: Calendar
69) TECH: Astrology
70) TECH: Algebra
71) TECH: Calculus
72) TECH: Orbital Mechanics
73) TECH: Architecture
74) TECH: Plumbing
75) TECH: Engineering
76) TECH: Simple Machines
77) TECH: Clockwork
78) TECH: Gearworks (not sure exactly what is meant here...)
79) TECH: Electromagnetism
80) TECH: Thermodynamics
81) TECH: Relativity -- Important concept in modern physics.
82) TECH: Electric Light
83) TECH: Periodic Table -- An important advance in chemistry. Realizing the "order" of chemical elements allowed discovery of new ones and prediction of their properties. Aided understanding of underlying theory of chemistry.
84) TECH: Industrial Chemistry
85) TECH: Ceramics -- Presumably the branch of modern materials science, not just plates and bowls...
86) TECH: Lens Grinding
87) TECH: Copper Smelting (before bronze)
88) TECH: Artificial Fertilizers
89) TECH: Geology
90) TECH: Oceanography is this a tech on its own?
91) TECH: Herbal Remedies
92) TECH: Cash Crops -- farm goods which are grown primarily for export because they can command a high price, not because of their local food value. Coffee, cotton, and tobacco might be examples.
93) TECH: Crop Rotation -- Important agricultural concept. Improves farm productivity.
94) TECH: Anatomy
95) TECH: Physiology
96) TECH: Surgery -- cutting people up to make them healthy. In early years, mostly limited to amputations, etc.
97) TECH: Botany
98) TECH: Cell Theory
99) TECH: Germ Theory
100) TECH: Immunization
101) TECH: Antibiotics
102) TECH: Genetics/Inheritance Theory -- Gregor Mendel style understanding of inheritance.
103) TECH: Evolution -- presumably you mean Darwinian Evolution, i.e. evolution via Natural Selection
104) TECH: DNA
105) TECH: Credit
106) TECH: Capital Markets
107) TECH: Keynesian Economics -- The notion that government fiscal (i.e. taxes and spending) policy should be used to limit the effects of the business cycle: low spending during boom years, high spending during recession/depression.
108) TECH: Geography
109) TECH: History
110) TECH: Tragedy/Literature
111) TECH: Rhetoric
112) TECH: Sculpture
113) TECH: Potter's Wheel
114) TECH: Painting
115) TECH: Weaving
116) TECH: The Loom -- important for weaving
117) TECH: The Pump
118) TECH: Internal Combustion Engine
119) TECH: Submersibles
120) TECH: Microbotics (little robots), Astrobotics (space robots?), Hydrobotics (water robots?).
121) TECH: Satellites -- "What goes up must... just keep going around."
122) TECH: Brewing
123) TECH: Masonry
124) TECH: The Bow
125) TECH: Gunnery
126) TECH: Standing Army -- The army is composed of professional soldiers employed by the state, not just regular citizens who grabbed weapons to support the war effort, and then went back to their lives afterward.
127) TECHS: Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Warfighting, Nuclear Defense
128) TECHS (future, possibly realistic): cloning, orbital construction, commercial spacefaring, wakeways, artificial intelligence, spaceport, xenobiology (exobiology), terraforming, eugenics, metallic foam, neural interface, nanotechnology, laser induced fusion, zero point energy, hydroponics, microgee agriculture, xenopsychology, cryogenics, nanomedicine (cell repair), personality constructs, mass drivers (without aliens, xenobiology is mostly useless, xenopsychology even more so , what is practical application of cryogenics in game terms? What are personality constructs and wakeways?)
129) TECHS (future, and "realism" questionable): warp drive, psychohistory, robopsychology, ICE, eptification, elite conscription, phaser, turbolaser, artificial gravity (antigravity), universal translator, scrith, hyperatomic motivator, twin ion engine, liquid metal (mimetic polyalloy), positronic matrix, spindizzy generator, planckscale machines, antimatter containment, ekumen, matter replication, Anti- anything (matter, gravity, realisty...), Kinetic Weapons (????), Inertia Nullification (thanks to the space operas of E.E. "Doc" Smith) (I don't know what a lot of these are, and a lot of the ones I do know are definitely impossible in the "real world")
130) TECH: Dyson Sphere -- a huge sphere that encloses a star, thus capturing all of a star's radiated energy. Problem: vast undertaking to construct. There is no way it can be done in a Civ III timeframe. Problem: A sperical shell generates no net gravitational field on the inside, i.e. you do not get pulled toward the surface of the sphere on the inside. This is due to the inverse-square nature of gravity and the geometry of the spere. Net result - what's keeping the star in the middle, and not bumping into the sides?
131) TECH: Ringworld -- more popular alternative to Dyson Sphere, just a big huge ring around a star. Still not realistic for Civ III.
132) SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED AS TECHS BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Social Refortm, Women's Movement, Aristocracy, Imperialism, Total War, Environmental Ethics, Entrepenurialism, Globalization, Humanism, Empiricism, Nuclear Disarmament, Animism (early religion), Heliocentrism, Discipline, Art of War, Mercantilism, Rationalization (a la Max Weber) ???, The Enlightenment, Money Economy, Herbalism,
133) FIELDS OF SCIENCE THAT WERE OFFERED BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry
134) ACTIVITIES THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED AS TECHS BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Venture Capitalism, Mercanary Warfare, Multinational Corporation, Agricultural Investment, Mechanical Farming, Training, Mobilization, Urbanization, Regulation, Revolution, Fortifications
[This message has been edited by the Octopus (edited May 26, 1999).]