i play both:
- directed research for MP competitive games (the beeline for some techs is so important that you can't afford any sidetracks)
- blind research for SP and some MP games (fun games)
Which do you prefer? And why?
Personally, I tend to go for the 'directed' option, but darned if it doesn't always feel like cheating.
For years, I have been playing with blind research. Now that I play some MP, I also use directed research in SP because I use those games as training ( with same factions, same set-up).
But I think more MP should use blind. It forces you to adapt, to play with the cards you've got: if you've got Impactors, let's play momentum; got Planetary Networks instead, let's use probes, got Explore techs, let's build.
It sort of levels the playing field.
From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale!
The problem is that blind isn't as undirected as some may think.
I am pretty sure there were a few threads about how someone can crunch the numbers to get 'much' better odds of directing tech to Industrial Automation.
In a casual MP game, sure why not? But for competitive MP, directed research is pretty much mandatory.
However I prefer the blind research, since the AI is so bad (or I am so good) I need to handicap myself as much as possible
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Blind Research is not viable if you don't start with Centauri Ecology. Period.
The main thing is (a) building a lot of Network Nodes early on, and (b) grabbing as many Alien Artifacts as possible and plugging them into the Nodes.
Playing against the AI doesn't count.
His point is that a Human player with Centauri Ecology has such an overwhelming advantage over a human player without it that it is not worth bothering with such a game.
No, it's a good reason not to use blind research in a MP game, however. Whoha is correct, the point of my post is that blind research can strand you without a prayer against a human player. The mere fact that you can prevail in spite of a long Ecology drought against the AI is, in my opinion, a huge indictment of the AI.
Some solution can be achieved in moderated by a CMN games. A scenario can be created that would decrease importance of Centauri Ecology, then blind research could be turned on.
What comes to my mind is providing abundant resources around landing site, landmarks with food, minerals and energy. More colony pods and units. Shaping terrain to provide rainy tiles, rivers for additional energy.
Another solution is either give a free former to everyone at the start, for terraforming options without prerequisites or giving Centauri Ecology to everyone, maybe giving some another bonus to Gaians in this case.
But this all needs to be done by CMN.
The problem is simply that the technologies are vastly unbalanced, blind research can give a player a HUGE unfair handicap. I usually play with MANIACs mod nowadays, so that problem is somewhat mitigated, but still.
Blind research has never really held any appeal to me, in single or multiplayer.I suppose it's more 'realistic', but hell, I want TOTAL CONTROL damnit!
And it isn't more realistic anyway. Research institutions large and small direct their resources and capacities towards what they're interested in all the time.
I really think the only reason anyone feels it is like cheating is because it's the default option; directed research adds a layer of depth that blind research takes away - namely the planning of the technology tree. It makes the game harder, not easier, because it adds another thing the player is responsible for.
I always do directed. I like to be the first to get Secrets of the Human Brain, which means I always do Ecology, Biogenetics, and Social Psych in that order.
Except sometimes I open a pod and get Industrial Base or Applied Physics, and then for some reason Secrets isn't one of the options, even though I have both prereqs for it. Anyone know why that is? Why sometimes you have the prereqs for something but it doesn't show up?
Just a function of the tech selection engine. There's lengthy posts about it if you care to avail yourself of search, but suffice to say that depending on your current techs, some techs will be unavailable to you, even if you satisfy the requirements to research them immediately.
Even 'Blind' research you get to establish priorities, so the realism argument is kind of soft either way.
I think the reason the developers made blind research the default was to buffer new players from the complexity of learning a new tech tree from scratch. At least the Civilization tech tree is somewhat intuitive. Everyone knows what writing is and what it does, more or less. What's 'Biogenics', devoid of the actual game mechanics?